Sprouts invests $3M in nutrition, local food systems
The Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation is improving school garden learning, nutrition education and expanding equitable access to food with $3 million in grants to 115 nonprofit organizations. Since its inception in 2015, the foundation has granted $15 million to more than 300 nonprofit partners which have brought hands-on, garden-based learning to 1.5 million children and provided nutrition education programs to an estimated 900,000 K-12 students. Sprouts Farmers Market covers all the foundation’s operational expenses, ensuring that every dollar raised goes directly to programming.
“Sprouts is committed to strengthening local food systems by providing our communities with access to fresh, nutritious food, and empowering children with the knowledge and resources to live a healthier life,” said Sprouts CEO Jack Sinclair. “Our foundation’s work with local partners in this effort is just one of the many ways Sprouts is growing goodness in our communities.”
A list of the foundation’s 2021 grant recipients can be found here. Nonprofit partners range from those working at the hyper-local level to those operating nationwide. Cumulative highlights include:
- 115 nonprofit organizations received grants from Sprouts this year, nearly a quarter of which are first-time grant recipients
- $2.2 million of awards will be directed to capacity and infrastructure development for school garden support organizations and strengthening community-based food systems
- 15 nonprofits will provide apprenticeship programs to industrious teens through hands-on agriculture and business career experience, providing the skills they’ll need for their future
- 70 grantees run gardening programs, in schools or in the community, removing economic barriers to bring locally grown, garden-fresh produce to more than 600,000 people
- 42 of this year’s grantees also provide family programming, bringing children and parents together to learn about gardening, nutrition and making healthy lifestyle choices on a budget
“Our partner organizations are led by incredible changemakers working at the neighborhood level to build healthy, vibrant communities, and to make healthy habits rewarding and enjoyable for children and families,” said Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation Executive Director Lyndsey Waugh. “With this in mind, we value the importance of working with our partners for the long haul, and have invested in organizational capacity, program infrastructure, and multi-year funding to empower these leaders to be as effective in their work as possible.”
Grant recipient highlights include:
- Spaces of Opportunity - Spaces of Opportunity brings together numerous nonprofits on a 19-acre urban farm, all sharing in the mission of bringing greater health to South Phoenix. This real-life laboratory reaches the community through fresh produce distribution and a farmers market expanding access to healthy food, and hands-on student programs that foster personal and social growth. Sprouts’ support will be used for infrastructure building including cool storage, a commercial kitchen and other property enhancements that will allow Spaces to continue to serve South Phoenix residents for years to come.
- Jones Valley Teaching Farm - Jones Valley Teaching Farm’s instruction creates the opportunity for JVTF graduate apprentices and instructors to bring gardening and culinary arts skills to students at their homes, which allowed Birmingham youth to build essential life skills and becoming a resource for entire families during the height of the pandemic. This winter, JVTF will open a new Center for Food Education featuring a culinary and nutrition wing funded by Sprouts.
- Cooking with CHOICES - The Center for Helping Obesity in Children End Successfully (CHOICES) is a parent-child resource center that works with children diagnosed as at-risk for obesity. Sprouts’ support funds hands-on cooking programs and workshops that teach children and their parents how to make healthy food choices and allow them to build skills, confidence, and preferences for healthy eating.
- Sage Garden Project - Sage Garden Project’s Nutritional Science Lab, mobile cooking carts, and outdoor school garden spaces allow students to engage in science experience with edible results. Their lessons teach students to combat childhood obesity and Type 2 Diabetes from childhood to adulthood. Sprouts’ multi-year funding has helped Sage Garden Project expand its operation to 60 schools throughout Southern California, impacting 30,000 students and their families each year.
- Fleet Farming/IDEAS for Us - Fleet Farming is a non-profit urban agriculture program of IDEAS For Us, whose mission is to empower all generations to grow food to increase local food accessibility. They accomplish this by converting underutilized lawn space into productive localized edible gardens, or micro farms. This year, Sprouts funded the purchase of a new truck to assist with farm production, the creation of a kitchen and prep area at the farm, and other supplies to support the nonprofit’s community food distribution efforts.