October 5, 2015

WGF and Driscoll’s Partner to Give Back

Western Growers Foundation (WGF) has been graciously awarded a $10,000 grant from Driscoll’s as a part of its Regional Community Grants Program.  The grant monies will be redistributed in the form of twenty $500 edible garden grants to K-12 schools throughout Merced, Monterey, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Tehama and Ventura counties.

Tom O’Brien, senior vice president and general counsel for Driscoll’s said, “Our community grants program supports solutions that build vibrant communities with a new level of understanding, partnerships, economic growth, and innovation between agriculture and the very communities that make the work possible.  We are excited about our school garden partnership as it will foster the knowledge of where our food comes and the people that make it possible—from the farmworker to the farmers.”

Together, WGF and Driscoll’s will further this discussion about food through these grants that will go towards bringing fruit and vegetable gardens to schools specifically with a large low-income Latino student population and/or migrant education program.  Schools meeting these requirements are encouraged to contact us for an invitation to apply for the grant.

In addition to the grants, Western Growers Foundation hopes to further educate students at grant-recipient schools about future opportunities in agriculture through farmer visits.  Similar farmer visits at the Phoenix Zoo Learning Garden this past spring proved successful and informational to students.  After each visit, students were surveyed and 93 percent of them were able to name three fruits or vegetables grown locally and 69 percent were able to name at least two career positions available in agriculture.

We hope to bring a face to farming through these visits and are looking for Western Growers’ members in the above mentioned counties who are willing to donate their time to help educate students.  We welcome any members employees who would like to share with students what it’s like to work in agriculture, the various career possibilities and the overall importance of the industry.

If you know of a qualified school or work in ag and would like to volunteer for farmer visits in 2016, please contact me at [email protected] or 949-885-4789 for more information.