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School garden receives over $44,000 from community donors, Goose Community Grocer

Jan 30th, 2015 | Category: Community

LANGLEY – In October 2014, Goosefoot, a local non-profit community development organization, offered up a challenge grant of $15,000 from the Goose Community Grocer in support of the South Whidbey School District Garden Program

Not only was the grocery store’s challenge met, it raised over $22,000 in donations from the community. And the Goose Grocer has decided to match the whole amount, for a grand total of $44,726, that will go directly to the school garden program to use during the 2014-2015 school year. The store is also offering a $15,000 challenge grant for each of the next two school years—2015-2016 and 2016-2017.

A “big check” ceremony was held Thursday, Jan. 22 at The Goose Grocer, where the donation was given to the program. The Goose is located at 14485 SR 525 on South Whidbey Island.

The Goose Grocer is owned by Goosefoot. “The Goose is now in a position to give back and the school garden program appealed to us on many different levels,” said Sandra Whiting, Goosefoot’s executive director. “Instilling an appreciation of fresh vegetables at an early age will have ripple effects for years to come.”

The South Whidbey School District Garden Program is the result of a unique collaboration amongst several Whidbey Island non-profits: Good Cheer Food Bank, Goosefoot, South Whidbey School District, Whidbey Institute, and Whidbey Island Nourishes (WIN).

Fresh produce from the school gardens was first served in the cafeterias at the end of the last school year in May 2014. This school year, over 400 pounds of fresh veggies have already been served at lunch at all three schools—in the salad bar, as roasted vegetables, and in soup.

Funding from the three-year challenge grant cycle will allow for current and additional garden program staff to work with the school district in making the program self-sustainable. The gardens are used by faculty to teach science, math, and English, all in concert with the core curriculum.

For more information on the South Whidbey School District Garden Program, visit their website at https://whidbeyschoolgardens.wordpress.com/

–Marian A. Myszkowski                                                                                 

Published in the February 2015 issue of Grow Northwest 

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