AUSTIN, Texas — Whole Foods Market here has launched the Whole Kids Foundation, a new charitable organization that will work with schools, educators and other organizations to improve children's access to healthy foods.
The foundation's first major initiative will be the Whole Kids Garden Grant Project, according to a company release. This grant-based program will help schools develop programs that enhance kids' understanding of healthy fruits and vegetables by introducing them to gardening. All schools and garden-related nonprofit organizations will be eligible to apply for grants to implement or expand on-campus teaching gardens.
“We are excited to formalize our commitment to improving childhood nutrition and wellness through our new foundation,” Walter Robb, co-chief executive officer of Whole Foods Market and Whole Kids Foundation board chairman, said in the release. “By collaborating with schools and parents, we believe we can increase fruit and vegetable consumption both at schools and at home and make a significant contribution in the fight against childhood obesity.”
The Whole Kids Foundation will also now facilitate existing children's nutrition efforts that Whole Foods has supported in the past, including Lunchbox.org, an online resource that helps public schools provide more nutritious lunches for students; the Salad Bar Project and Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools, two separate initiatives geared toward funding salad bars in schools throughout the U.S.; and existing store-level partnerships with local schools, where projects range from art competitions, food drives, school gardens and funding for salad bars, to educational store tours and class visits by local Whole Foods Team Members.