The Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation donated $3 million to nonprofit organizations that specialize in nutrition education and fresh food access. Funds include Neighborhood Grants that support grassroots children’s nutrition education programs, as well as large, multi-year Impact Grants designed to help partners increase organizational capacity and scale programs.
“Each year, our network of nonprofit partners continues to grow and our work in local communities continues to deepen,” says Lyndsey Waugh, executive director of the Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation. “As a result, children and their families have greater exposure to nutrition education and hands-on cooking and gardening programs in their schools and community centers, and urban farms are increasing access to fresh, nutritious produce in food desert communities.”
This year, Sprouts will award 118 Neighborhood Grants totaling $725,000 to nonprofit organizations across the U.S. Recipients of these grants, ranging from $2,500 to $10,000, include programs in Sprouts’ new markets in Louisiana, New Jersey and Virginia.
To culminate the nonprofit support, Sprouts and the foundation will host the second annual Day of Service on Saturday, Nov. 9 when hundreds of team members will participate in 40 volunteer events from coast to coast.
“Central to Sprouts’ identity is giving back to the communities we operate in, and the Day of Service gives team members the opportunity to engage with the organizations the foundation supports firsthand,” says Waugh.
Day of Service volunteer events with 2019 grant recipients include:
- Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful (Tampa, Florida)—During the Day of Service, Sprouts volunteers will be on-site at the Florida Learning Garden to assist with planting starter plants in garden beds and hydroponic gardens. Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful encourages environmental stewardship throughout their community through numerous cleanup and tree-planting projects, and the Florida Learning Garden, where students participate in hands-on greenhouse, composting, gardening and upcycling activities.
- Spaces of Opportunity (Phoenix, Arizona)—Dozens of volunteers from Sprouts’ stores, plus leadership from Sprouts’ store support office, will unite to plant, harvest and help with garden maintenance. Spaces of Opportunity is working to transform a food desert into a thriving hub of health and fresh food access through the coordination of a 10-acre incubator farm, family gardens, and an on-site farmers market.
- Soil Born Farms Urban Agriculture and Education Project (Sacramento, California)—During the Day of Service activity, Sprouts team members will be on-site at an elementary school to install raised garden beds, plant and beautify the school garden. Soil Born Farms Urban Agriculture and Education Project empowers youth and adults to discover and participate in a local food system that encourages healthy living, nurtures the environment and grows a sustainable community.
A full list of Neighborhood Grant recipients by state can be accesses at sprouts.com/neighborhoodgrants.
The foundation also has committed to multi-year, high-impact grants designed to help organizations scale established programs and develop and share best-practices in the areas of student nutritional curricula, and school and community gardening. This year, impact partner updates include:
- Life Lab (Santa Cruz, California)—Life Lab is a national leader in the garden-based learning movement that empowers tens of thousands of educators across the country with resources necessary to engage young people in gardens and on farms. The Foundation’s $561,000 multi-year investment will allow Life Lab to strengthen and expand its service model, touching hundreds of organizations nationwide. In addition, The Foundation and Life Lab will create and present a national conference in 2021, bringing together school garden educators and community leaders for seminars, networking opportunities, workshops and more.
- Sage Garden Project (San Diego, California)—Sage Garden Project is one of the few programs to offer nutritional science at the elementary school level. By providing equipment, training, funds for an educator and standards-based curriculum, it is teaching students to grow and cook fresh food for themselves. The $375,000 in multi-year funding has already allowed the foundation and Sage Garden Project to sustain successful school programs, as well as expand into 25 new campuses for the 2019-20 school year.
- Out Teach (Phoenix, Arizona, Fort Worth, Texas)—Out Teach empowers teachers to get outside—beyond the classroom—to create unforgettable learning experiences and measurable academic results. In addition to funding teacher training and the direct implementation of nutrition curricula in Texas, the $150,000 grant supports the creation of a new learning garden in Sunnyslope, Arizona. Out Teach will bring their expertise to Arizona for the first time, partnering with Sprouts to build a new learning garden at Desert View Elementary School, as part of Sprouts’ Day of Service. Out Teach recently completed a three-year multi-year gift and is a returning partner.
Additional foundation support is allocated across markets to health- and wellness-related causes, as well as Vitamin Angels, which delivers vitamins and nutrients to at-risk populations around the world.
Created in 2015, the Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation focuses on empowering people, especially children, to live healthier lives by supporting programs that teach nutrition education and increase access to fresh, nutritious food. In five years, the foundation, together with Sprouts’ vendors and customers, has donated more than $10 million to more than 300 nonprofit partners. Sprouts, the Phoenix, Arizona-based retailer, covers 100 percent of the foundation’s operational expenses, ensuring that every dollar raised is used to support their nonprofit partner agencies.