Today, Western Growers Foundation joined more than 30 preschool children at the PACE Early Childhood Education Center on Aldama Street in Los Angeles to plant an edible garden with fruits and vegetables. The garden was featured this morning on KTLA Channel 5 news. The PACE preschool is one of 100 lucky preschools and child care centers in California to receive a $1,000 school garden grant each from the WG Foundation.
“These kids are having a great time, but (also) learning about planting because they become vested in their gardens ... they grow an onion or broccoli and then they want to eat what they’ve grown,” said KTLA reporter Henry DiCarlo.
The PACE Early Childhood Education Center will join an existing network of about 600 school gardens throughout California and Arizona made possible through grants from the WG Foundation. This project—and others like it—provide California’s youngest students with nutrition education experiences in gardens that include planting, harvesting and eating the fruits and vegetables they grown. The preschoolers at the PACE garden planted fruits and vegetables, including peas, lettuce, brussels sprouts, onions and strawberries. The school garden learning experience is especially important in underserved areas. At the PACE Early Childhood Education Center on Aldama Street, 100 percent of the children qualify for free or reduced priced meals.
“Western Growers is a trade association of California and Arizona farmers who grow, pack and ship almost half the produce found in grocery stores across the United States and so they just want to give back to the community and teach children where their food comes from and the importance of good nutrition,” Paula Olson, WG vice president of marketing, told KTLA.