WILMINGTON — Healthy Foods for Healthy Kids (HFHK) has received a $49,117 grant from Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware. The funds will help refurbish nine gardens that are part of HFHK’s Education Cultivation school vegetable garden program.
HFHK’s Education Cultivation program provides hands-on gardening activities through lessons that support Delaware state learning standards. By coordinating on-site school garden building, providing teacher training and science-based lessons, and using fast-growing, cool-weather crops, HFHK makes it practical for public schools to engage in “seed-to-table” growing every spring and fall.
This grant will impact nearly 4,000 students as the refurbished HFHK school gardens will yield 912 pounds of fresh produce per gardening season. The produce is consumed by the students either in the cafeteria or as part of a classroom cooking demonstration. The funding will also give HFHK the opportunity to hire a Public Ally from Public Allies Delaware to support volunteer coordination in HFHK’s 30-plus partner schools.
This AmeriCorps volunteer addition will help build the capacity of HFHK’s school vegetable garden program and increase students’ access and consumption of fresh produce.
“HFHK’s Education Cultivation school vegetable garden program empowers students to grow their own food and discover that they like new vegetables they’ve never tried before, inspiring lifelong wholesome eating habits,” said HFHK Development Director and Program Manager Lindsay Lancaster. BluePrints for the Community, housed by the Delaware Community Foundation, has contributed over $19 million to the community since its inception in 2007. It was established to serve Delawareans, with emphasis on, but not limited to, the needs of the uninsured and underserved, and to reduce health care disparities in minority populations and address social determinants of health.
“We all know that access to healthy food is critical to a person’s well-being, as well as learning where to find it, how to prepare it and why it matters,” said Nick Moriello, president of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware. “Healthy Foods for Healthy Kids takes this a step further by teaching students about gardening and empowering them to make better choices for their health.”
Learn more about HFHK at their website.