Richmond, BC, Canada (September 28, 2015) – As part of its strong commitment to organic agriculture and desire to empower local communities, Nature’s Path Foods, the largest organic cereal manufacturer in North America, is pleased to announce the winners of their sixth annual Gardens for Good grant contest, which helps put organic community gardens where they will serve those who need them most. The three deserving non-profit organizations to receive grants are St. Mary’s Foundation for Children in Bayside, New York; Everett Community Growers/La Communidad Inc. in Everett, Massachusetts; and Ken Spenser Science Park Urban Gardens at Science World in Vancouver, BC.
“We are honored to support these extremely worthwhile organizations; not only are they creating positive change in their communities and providing organic food for those who might not otherwise have access to it, but they are also helping to cultivate socially responsible leaders who will bring people together to impact their community,” said Arran Stephens, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Nature’s Path. “It is a privilege to work with them and help good things grow from the ground up.”
Out of the 120 entries from non-profit organizations making an impact at the local level, three rose to the top: St. Mary’s Foundation for Children in Bayside,N.Y., Everett Community Growers/La Communidad Inc. Everett,Massachusetts and Ken Spenser Science Park Urban Gardens at Science World in Vancouver, BC. The winners were among nine other finalists who earned the most public support by way of online votes, and were ultimately selected based on the compelling, empowering and inspirational nature in which they described their organic garden project; the feasibility to establish and maintain the garden; and demonstrated community need of those who stand to benefit from the fruits of their labor. The organizations will each receive a $15,000 cash grant for their community garden project from Nature’s Path, and technical design and production mentorship for up to one year from Rodale’s Organic Life.
About the Winners
St. Mary’s Foundation for Children, Bayside, New York: Established in 1870, St. Mary’s provides in-depth youth services as NYC’s first children’s hospital. It serves nearly 2,000 medically fragile children each day, making it one of the largest providers of long-term home health care for children in New York. Their project aims to be a common place for their patients and community members to collectively learn about gardening and healthy eating while fostering growth for kids with special health care needs. They seek to partner with local school districts and youth-based groups, and expect more than 400 participants per year to participate in healthy eating and urban farming activities on a dedicated one-acre plot of land.
Everett Community Growers / La Comunidad Inc., Everett, Massachusetts: Everett Community Growers (ECG) started in 2010 with a grant from the Boston Public Health Commission to develop possible solutions to the inequitable food environment in Everett. In 2012 using city-owned vacant land, they created their first community garden, the Florence Street Community Garden, as a self-serve alternative providing healthy, fresh food options for a community dominated by unhealthy convenience food options (fast food, carry out restaurants and convenience markets). Their vision is to create a community where every resident in Everett will be within walking distance to either grow or purchase healthy and culturally appropriate food. The funds will be used to create a new organic space, advancing their footprint to achieve their vision.
Science World British Columbia, Vancouver BC: Created in 2012, the Ken Spencer Science Park (KSSP) helps reimagine your role in creating a healthier community and planet. It features a 35,000 sq. ft. park where visitors can explore and engage with six major sustainability themes: transportation, energy, water, waste, housing and food. The KSSP urban garden – the park’s main attraction – showcases raised bed and container food gardening, a backyard chicken coop and composting system. One key objective is to educate the public about how our food choices not only affect ourselves, but also our communities and the planet. They partner with communities, schools and organizations to educate, engage and feed. They’ve donated over 216 lbs. of fresh produce to Downtown Eastside Community Kitchen, had 45 junior gardeners help plant and harvest and likely had thousands of people visit the KSSP. The grant will help purchase equipment to grow their operations and allow them to boost productivity and continue growing healthy food all year round.