Date: Dec 17, 2012

Irvine, Calif. - Western Growers Foundation, through the generous support of WG Member HMC Farms will offer grants to K-12 schools in the Oakland school district to provide children with an edible, nutritious and educational school garden experience. Grant applications are available now through Jan. 31, 2013. The grants include a check for $1,000, a school garden kit and fruit from HMC Farms.

Chelsea McClarty-Ketelsen, with HMC Farms, said she and others at HMC Farms  want to give children a chance to experience something they've been lucky enough to experience themselves.

"Eating healthy isn’t always exciting to kids," she said. "Fruits and veggies sometimes can have a stereotype of being bad just because they’re good for you. Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins and nutrients your body needs and was designed to use. I’ve always found that learning is the most fun when you don’t even realize you’re learning. You’re out in the dirt, watching something you planted grow into something you can eat. It’s about more than fruits and vegetables at that point, it’s making a connection with the ground, and the amount of work it takes to receive a reward - and in this case your reward is your very own fresh fruit or vegetable."

Awards are expected to be distributed by March 14, 2013. To apply, visit and click "Apply For Grant."

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