Date: May 21, 2009
Category:

SACRAMENTO (May 21, 2009) – Western Growers Foundation (WGF) is providing $15,000 toward the WE Garden, the first edible garden in CaliforniaStateCapitolPark. The WE Garden will be made public during a planting ceremony with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and first lady Maria Shriver today at the Capitol at 9:30 a.m.

Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif will be joining Shriver, California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary A.G. Kawamura, Food Network Chef Guy Fieri, 2008 CaliforniaHall of Fame Inductee Alice Waters and California School Garden Network (CSGN) Chairman Tim Alderson this morning at the state Capitol for the unveiling of the new edible garden.

Upon taking the reigns as California’s first lady, Shriver created groundbreaking programs and initiatives that educate, enlist, empower, connect, and honor people who are what she calls “Architects of Change” in their own lives and in the lives of others. Shriver has organized these initiatives under a banner called “WE;” this edible garden is one of those initiatives. The WE Garden is designed to bring awareness to children, their families and other Capitol visitors about the importance of healthy food and good nutrition, where food comes from and how it is grown and harvested.

“Western Growers commends California’s first family for spearheading the WE Garden, and we are happy to support this effort,” said Nassif. “We believe there is a classroom in every garden and are excited that every young person who visits this state’s Capitol will have the opportunity to learn how healthy food is grown, why a diet of fruit, vegetables and tree-nuts is important and the significant role farmers play in our economy and environment.”

Partnering with Shriver’s office on this project was a natural fit for WGF. The foundation has funded numerousschool gardens and continues to support the teachers and volunteerswho bring these gardens to life.

“Western Growers Foundation has a history of growing gardens for nutrition education, and have funded more than 300 gardens throughout California and Arizona, said WGF Coordinator Briana Lewis. “We also offer nutritional and agricultural information to consumers through Producepedia.com.”

Western Growers Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity that supports innovative nutrition education projects and programs to create healthy individuals and communities. These projects include online consumer education through Producepedia.com, school-age outreach with the School Garden Program, and efforts that increase access to fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts. Visit Western Growers Foundation at http://www.wga.com/wgf for more information.

Western Growers is an agricultural trade association whose nearly 3,000 members from Arizona and California grow, pack and ship ninety percent of the fresh fruits, nuts and vegetables grown in California and seventy five percent of those commodities in Arizona. This totals about half of the nation’s fresh produce.

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