Annie's Teams up with KidsGardening.org and Carson Daly to Support TODAY Show School Gardening Initiative
Annie's presents check on TODAY Show with Carson Daly to shine a light on childhood hunger and healthy eating in America
July 22, 2014 --
NEW YORK, July 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --Today Annie's Inc. joined with KidsGardening.org and TODAY Show anchor Carson Daly to help build a new school garden in Brooklyn, New York and shine a light on childhood hunger, while promoting healthy eating in America. To commemorate the partnership, Annie's donated $25,000 to support the project which is in line with the company's mission of connecting kids to real food through school gardens.
"We are thrilled that Annie's has joined with us to help fund this school garden, which we hope will be a catalyst to build more gardens in schools across the country," said Mike Metallo, president and CEO of the National Gardening Association, which operates KidsGardening.org. "Annie's has been a leader in supporting youth education and gardening and their support will have a tremendous impact, particularly to the kids at these schools."
The effort is part of TODAY's Shine a Light series, which supports worthy causes throughout the year. Carson Daly has made a personal commitment to alleviate childhood hunger and food insecurity by bringing gardens to schools and has teamed up with KidsGardening.org to adopt Brooklyn Arts & Science School and Exceed Charter School in Brooklyn to build a new school garden.
Annie's contribution, made through Crowdrise.com, will fund a large portion of the garden build at the school, which has transformed an empty outdoor courtyard area into a 1,000 square foot garden. The garden has multiple fruit trees, vegetables, fruits, herbs, flowers and gives children and their families an opportunity to engage in the process of growing, preparing, and eating fresh and healthy foods; it also gives students and teachers the opportunity to grow their own food and incorporate healthy eating curriculum into the school.
"For 25 years, Annie's has been passionate about school gardens and connecting kids to real food. By helping children learn where food comes from through school gardens, like this one here in Brooklyn, Annie's is helping kids to understand that real food tastes great and encouraging them to start making better choices at an early age," said John Foraker, Annie's CEO. "We are proud to support this initiative which underscores our collective goals of getting a garden into every school across the nation."
Annie's has always been committed to helping children know where their food comes from. Since 2008, through Annie's Grants for Gardens program, the company has supported over 270 schools throughout the country, putting more than 80,000 children in direct contact with growing real food.
In addition to Annie's $25,000 donation, in-kind contributions to the garden installation include products from Sun Gro soil, Bonnie Plants seedlings and transplants, High Mowing seed packets, Ames garden tools, White + Burke design services, Rain Bird consultation and irrigation system, and over 800 square feet of flooring from ECORE.
Brooklyn Arts & Science Elementary School and The Explore Exceed Charter School is home to over 400 students, grades Pre K-5. The schools are new to the neighborhood and their presence brings a youthful energy that has rallied the community and parent volunteers.
"I see green, which is something that's hard to find here in Brooklyn," Sandra Beauvoir Soto, principal of the Brooklyn Arts & Science School."It's all concrete. It's asphalt. It's rubber. It's hard. To have something living, breathing, growing, alive like the children that we serve I think, is gonna be really powerful for them."
As cited by the TODAY Show, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 1 in 3 children and adolescents in America are overweight or obese. Ironically, at the same time, the USDA reports that 1 in 4 American kids live in food insecure homes.According to a new study released by NGA, Garden to Table: A 5-Year Look at Food Gardening in America, shows that more young people, particularly Millennials, are the fastest growing population segment of food gardeners and that food gardening by people living in urban areas is up from 7 million in 2008 to 9 million in 2013.
To learn more about TODAY's Shine A Light program and Carson Daly's gardening initiative visit www.KidsGardening.org.
About KidsGardening.org: KidsGardening.org is a national 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, operated as part of the National Gardening Association based in Williston, VT, that promotes learning through gardening to encourage personal growth. Their mission is to empower every generation to lead healthier lives, build stronger communities, and encourage environmental stewardship through educational gardening programs. Since 1982, they have provided nearly $4 million in grants to more than 10,000 schools and community-based organizations benefitting roughly 2 million youth across the country. Learn more about KidsGardening.org's programs and services at www.kidsgardening.org.
About Annie's: Annie's, Inc. is a natural and organic food company that offers great-tasting products in large packaged food categories. Annie's products are made without artificial flavors, synthetic colors and preservatives regularly used in many conventional packaged foods.Additionally, Annie's sources ingredients so as to avoid synthetic growth hormones and genetically modified food ingredients. Today, Annie's offers over 145 products and is present in over 35,000 retail locations inthe United StatesandCanada. Founded in 1989, Annie's is committed to operating in a socially responsible and environmentally sustainable manner.For more information, visitwww.annies.com.