In celebration of Earth Day, the Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation is donating $25,000 to Real School Gardens in support of the organization’s expansion and new learning garden in Charlotte, N.C. The donation is a part of the retailer’s ongoing sustainability efforts, including its Food Rescue Program, which reached a 55% food waste diversion rate in 2017.
Real School Gardens and Sprouts volunteers will build the new learning garden at Tuckaseegee Elementary School during a “Big Dig” on April 10, transforming an empty schoolyard into an interactive learning space. The effort is designed to boost academics with experiential outdoor lessons including growing produce, herbs and flowerbeds to benefit the school cafeteria and students’ families.
Since 2015, support from Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation has enabled Real School Gardens to build 13 learning gardens across the country; expand to three new regions, including North Carolina; and develop a multisubject curriculum to teach science, math and language arts using food and nutrition topics. Sprouts’ garden build is an addition to the Foundation’s existing $500,000 commitment to support youth nutrition education and school garden builds underway at Real School Gardens.
Phoenix, Ariz.-based Sprouts reached its record-breaking 55% food waste diversion rate in 2017 by repurposing food waste that would otherwise be sent to landfills to be used as meals by food bank partners, feed for cattle farms and compost by farmers.
Additional highlights from Sprouts’ 2017 sustainability efforts include:
- 23 million pounds of food donated to 350 hunger relief agencies, equivalent to 19 million meals
- 25 million pounds of food waste turned into animal feed to benefit 36 cattle farms in the U.S.
- 5 million pounds of food waste composted to enrich soils and complete the farming circle