Richmond, British Columbia – Between the monumental healthcare legislation, Michelle Obama’s healthy kids initiative and the White House organic garden planted last year, it is apparent that the connection between diet and the health of people and the planet has come to the forefront of the nation’s consciousness. Forging ahead with this vital movement, Nature’s Path Organic Foods, the largest organic cereal manufacturer in North America, is launching its “Gardens for Good Grant” contest to help put organic garden in communities in the United States that need it most.
Applications will be accepted through June 14. The campaign’s focus centers on making an impact at the local level through leadership, development and education in order to make positive changes from the ground up. Consumers are encouraged to submit entries, find community criteria and nominate their community at the website.
With the mission to increase organic acreage nationwide and provide every American with access to high quality, healthy and organic food, Nature’s Path and Organic Gardening magazine are launching the contest in which two communities will receive a $25,000-value grant package toward starting organic gardens. Through the campaign, dedicated community members and organizations can nominate and vote to receive $10,000 cash for the project and $5,000 (estimated value) in technical design and production mentorship provided by Organic Gardening magazine. From the five organizations that get the most votes, Nature’s Path will choose two final winners. Nature’s Path will also provide a free organic breakfast, complete with reusable shopping bags for the community, during the garden dedication while hosting a fundraiser for the winning organization (total estimated value $10,000). Finally, Nature’s Path will provide a donation of Nature’s Path products to help fill the pantries of a local food bank (up to $100,000 value to be determined based on the size and need of the food bank in question).
“Nature’s Path was founded on the principles of socially responsible and environmentally sustainable behavior and this is important now more than ever,” says Arran Stephens, founder and CEO of Nature’s Path. “Our goal is to ‘plant it forward.’ By providing access to healthy, organic food and the education needed to grow it, we hope to encourage and cultivate socially responsible community leaders who will bring people together to feed those in need.”
This year, Nature’s Path will choose two communities in which to plant gardens. Organizations that are serving a community in need are asked to answer, in 500 words or less, the question: “Tell us about your program, who you serve, and how a garden grant will help you to serve more people,” and also are encouraged to upload any photo or video that might help illustrate an organization’s personal commitment to enhance its community.
In addition to creating organic gardens in two communities and striving to raise food and cash donations for the organization, Nature’s Path also purchased 2,240 acres of Saskatchewan farmland while partnering with local organic farmers on a cooperative crop-share basis in an effort to increase organic acreage and provide organic food for all Americans.
Founded in 1985, Nature’s Path Organic Foods is headquartered in Richmond, British Columbia, and employs more than 350 people in 390,000 square feet of manufacturing facilities in Canada and the United States. The privately held, family-owned company produces more than 122 breakfast foods and snacks sold in specialty foods stores and retailers in 40 countries around the world. The company’s innovative brands include Nature’s Path, Flax Plus, EnviroKidz, and Optimum. Visit Nature’s Path website and Facebook page. For the latest news and updates, follow the company on twitter: @naturespath and @envirokidz.