Making Gardens Grow

The Healthy Eating Makes the Grade project began in 2010 with a Heart and Stroke Foundation Spark seed grant to hire a part-time coordinator to develop a partnership to work on improving student health by increasing access to healthier food options in and around schools. A subsequent larger grant in 2011 connected a variety of individuals and groups interested in improving student nutrition, including students, parents, teachers, administrators, food producers and suppliers, and community organizations. These partners formed working groups to increase support for school gardens, to have more healthy choices available for students, and to support youth-led initiatives to encourage healthy eating in schools. Through these efforts, and the generous support of the school boards, 2013 saw a huge increase in school gardens, with 14 schools starting up new gardens that year.