Whole Foods – Whole Kids
It’s not all reading, writing and arithmetic for local keiki as they head back to school this fall. Thanks to the Whole Kids Foundation, a nonprofit created by Whole Foods Market, six Hawai‘i-based schools including four on Oahu and two on Maui, will receive $2000 grants to expand upon or create community or school gardens.
These “garden grants” provide students access to fresh produce, establish a better understanding of where food comes from and bridge the connection between a healthy planet with a healthy body. The schools selected include Ke Kula ‘O Samuel M. Kamakau (Kane‘ohe), Kainalu Elementary (Kailua), Makaha Elementary (Makaha), and Waikiki Elementary (Honolulu) and on Maui — Kihei Elementary (Kihei) and Kihei Charter School (Kihei).
The Whole Kids Foundation is extending $2 million in grants to more than 1,000 schools and garden-related nonprofits throughout the U.S. to support a broad range of projects from raised-bed garden construction, vertical gardens, composting and rainwater collection projects, to larger-scale expansions in schools. So when you visit Whole Foods and gaze in awe at the quality of their freshly foods and baked goods, organic vegetables, health products, and drinks but hesitate upon seeing the prices — remember that even though they’re not a local retailer they’re making efforts to contribute to bettering the next generation by encouraging greater “eco-literacy” in Hawaii’s schools. Our goal should be to find a way to make good wholesome food more affordable and more accessible to everyone. Not just the privileged few. Hopefully, Whole Foods’ garden projects will help educate our kids and raise our collective consciousness so we see more sustainable home, school, and community gardens in the near future.