Healthy School Gardens in Washington, D.C. Schools
Safeway Sponsored School Gardens Help Combat Childhood Obesity by Engaging Youth in the Growing of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
WASHINGTON, D.C. —Today, in honor of Earth Day, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and Washington, D.C. Safeway stores announced the creation of new school gardens in five District schools. Safeway and the Alliance, a national non-profit founded by the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation, teamed up last year to launch a District-wide campaign to combat childhood obesity by planting healthy gardens in 10 D.C. schools and help teach young people about the benefits of fruits and vegetables. All of the gardens are planted at schools that are members of the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program, a national program which supports more than 11,000 schools across the U.S.
This spring, gardens will be planted at The Arts and Technology Academy PCS, John Burroughs Educational Campus, Roots PCS, Shepherd Elementary and Janney Elementary School. Safeway sponsors grants that equip students with materials to construct and plant the garden and the Alliance provides resources and curriculum to ensure the kids understand the nutritional value of their harvest and how to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their daily lives.
“Safeway is pleased to be supporting our local schools while promoting healthier food choices and respect for the environment,”
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, which works with more than 11,000 schools across the country and more than 200 schools in the Washington metro area, helps schools make their campuses healthier environments by promoting nutritious meals and physical activity. The hands-on nature of gardening provides young people with time for outdoor exercise, encourages the consumption of healthier foods and serves as an enriching educational curriculum. Any school or individual can join the Healthy Schools Program at HealthierGeneration.org and receive access to an abundance of resources, including a toolkit that instructs on how to start a school garden and shares garden activity ideas.
“With childhood obesity at epidemic levels in the United States, it is essential that we work together as a society to give young people access to knowledge and experiences that will help them make healthy choices for life,” said Ginny Ehrlich, chief executive officer, Alliance for a Healthier Generation. “School gardens offer a fun interactive opportunity to interest kids in tasting a variety of fruits and vegetables that can help make their diet more nutritious.”
To extend the education effort into the store environment, the Alliance will provide information for parents to help them find easy ways to add fruits and vegetables to their family’s diet. Information will be distributed at all 15 Safeway Locations in the District of Columbia.
Schools everywhere can learn to build a garden of their own by joining the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program online at www.HealthierGeneration.org and making use of a free healthy school garden toolkit created in conjunction with City Blossoms, a D.C. based non-profit organization focused on increasing opportunities for urban youth to engage in outdoor activities.
Safeway Inc. is a Fortune 100 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America, based on sales. The company operates 1,694 stores in the United States and western Canada and had annual sales of $41 billion in 2010. The company’s common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SWY. Safeway supports a broad range of charitable and community programs and, in 2010, donated more than $250 million to important causes, such as cancer research, education and hunger relief.
With 15 stores in the District of Columbia, Safeway’s Eastern Division employs approximately 17,000 people and operates 162 stores, including 28 Genuardi's Markets in Southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and 70 Safeway stores in Maryland, 43 in Virginia and four in Delaware. In 2010, the Washington Business Journal listed Safeway as the top philanthropic company in metropolitan Washington. The District of Columbia Chamber of Commerce honored Safeway with its 2010 Economic Development Award for the company’s investment in building new stores in Georgetown and the Southwest Waterfront.
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation works to address one of the nation’s leading public health threats – childhood obesity. The goal of the Alliance is to reduce the nationwide prevalence of childhood obesity by 2015, and to empower kids to make healthy lifestyle choices. Founded in 2005 by the American Heart Association and William J. Clinton Foundation, the Alliance works to positively affect the places that can make a difference to a child’s health: homes, schools, doctor’s offices and communities. To learn more about the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, visit www.HealthierGeneration.org.
Alliance for a Healthier Generation
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National retail grocery chain with stores throughout located throughout North America (approximately 20 states and Canada).