School Garden Project of Lane County

-Music- Food connects us to our world in a way that few other things do. What we eat is a daily decision made by each of us. Understanding where our food comes from helps us build a healthier future for all of us. Luckily, the local food movement in the US is thriving. In 2012, U.S. local food sales totaled $6 billion and the number of farmers’ markets across the country nearly doubled. Despite our high standard of living, food insecurity and obesity have a tremendous impact on our planet, especially our children. Since 1980, adult obesity rates have doubled while childhood rates have tripled. Poor nutritional value of food can lead to obesity and malnutrition in the same person. Over 20% of children in the U.S. do not have reliable access to affordable, nutritious food, while more than 30% of children in the US are overweight or obese. The health impacts are devastating and cost the economy billions. Childhood obesity in the U.S. is responsible for $14 billion in medical costs. Oregon and Lane County face similar challenges. In Lane County, obesity ranks second only to tobacco use in preventable death. And the percentage of local students who are obese continues to rise. School garden education can make a positive impact on these tough issues, but Oregon faces one of the lowest graduation rates in the country. A promising strategy that can achieve both health and academic benefits, school garden programs are gaining popularity across the country. School Garden Project of Lane County is helping to lead the way. More than just a local nonprofit that builds gardens, we are a leader in curriculum development and design. Educators in 47 states have downloaded our garden science curriculum. At School Garden Project we are committed to a future in which children eat their fruits and vegetables, know the basics of growing food and contribute to a thriving community. And we’re committed to having fun while we do it! With our skilled instructors and more than 300 community volunteers, we make science fun and engaging. Kids learn about the importance of healthy soil and pollinators; and they learn that it just makes sense to be a good steward of the earth. Since 2010, we have doubled the number of children we teach each year to more than 1,200. All of those kids complete their garden year with a meal they grow themselves. And they’ll be the first to tell you, nothing tastes better! But there is so much more to do. Every year School Garden Project turns down requests for garden education. Can you help? We need volunteers to teach children how to grow a vegetable garden. We also need financial help. One hundred dollars provides garden education to a child for one year. Dig in, get your hands dirty and make a difference for our children, for our community, for our future with School Garden Project. -Music- -Music fading-

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