Raising the (salad) bar and rooting for school gardens

Whole Kids Foundation turns 1, more than 1,000 schools and 1 million kids sowing healthy change

Jul 31, 2012 – Whole Kids Foundation is skipping the cake and heading straight for the greens as it celebrates its first year of supporting schools throughout the United States and Canada. To date, the Foundation has funded 886 school garden grants in partnership with FoodCorps and 1,414 salad bars through Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools, giving more than 1 million kids access to healthy food choices.

Through the support of Whole Foods MarketĀ® shoppers and partners over the past year, the Foundation has raised more than $2 million to fund its programs, which aim to help children reach optimal health, strength and nutrition through smart food choices.

To help families spark conversations around food and create healthier habits, the Foundation now offers free, interactive programs and tools, including:

Awesome Eats(TM): Launched in April, this free mobile app has been played by more than 800,000 people in over 200 countries. Kids have fun stacking and sorting fruits, vegetables and whole grains across different scenarios to win stars and score points.

ScrapKins: Monthly eco-art projects with recycled household items offer an interactive, creative way for parents and kids to learn about gardening, recycling, and other health and wellness topics.

Better Bites: A monthly online nutrition feature resource that highlights one simple, healthy change to pack more nutrients in every bite, like choosing whole grains and beans.

“The support Whole Kids Foundation has received in our first year, and the response we have seen from parents and schools in need of support, has been tremendous,” said Nona Evans, Whole Kids Foundation executive director. “We truly believe kids will make good food choices if offered options, and we’ve seen it firsthand in lunchrooms across the country. The power of curiosity creates some very adventurous eaters. It’s inspiring!”

To begin year two, the Foundation hopes to raise $2 million through its annual fundraiser in September to support its school programs including school gardens, salad bars and an expansion of efforts to educate teachers about healthy eating.

The Whole Kids Foundation, a Whole Foods Market foundation, is based in Austin, Texas, and operates as an independent, nonprofit organization. For more information visit wholekidsfoundation.org.