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Dole Packaged Foods joins Harps and Captain Planet Foundation to celebrate Project Learning Garden

April 12, 2017, Van Buren, AR - - Today Van Buren Mayor Bob Freeman and Superintendent Dr. Harold Jeffcoat joined executives from Harps, Dole Packaged Foods, Captain Planet Foundation at King Elementary School to inaugurate a special Learning Garden for the school. Together, these three organizations joined forces with King Elementary to offer students the opportunity to interact with the environment through a learning garden, while expanding their palates and learning about food origins.

King Elementary School won the Learning Garden by applying to the “Learning Garden Grant” contest conducted at Harps in the fall of 2016. The contest offered elementary schools in the Harps service area the chance to win a Learning Garden installation for their school. 

“Here at Dole, we understand the importance of teaching children the benefits of incorporating fruits and vegetables into their diet, whether they are enjoying fresh produce from their learning garden, or a healthy Dole snack,” said Larry White, Vice President - Sales, Dole Packaged Foods. “By partnering with Captain Planet Foundation and Harps, we are helping more students learn about and develop healthy habits.”

“Anything can be taught in the context of the garden, and hands-on learning supports student understanding of natural systems, food origins, and healthy eating,” explained Kyla Van Deussen, Learning Garden Director of Captain Planet Foundation. “Captain Planet Foundation is dedicated to nurturing the next generation of environmental stewards, and ensuring they are armed with an understanding of the natural world in which they live. We are thrilled to be working with Harps and Dole to provide King Elementary with a CPF Learning Garden!”

"We are excited to bring this Learning Garden to King Elementary School”, said Mike Roberts, Produce Merchandiser at Harps, “We strive to give back to the communities that we are so lucky to be part of and we are grateful to have the opportunity to contribute to improving the quality of the life for children through education around nutrition and healthy living."

“King Elementary is honored to receive the “Learning Garden Grant” from Captain Planet,” stated Principal Renee Risley, “Without grants like this we would not be able to provide extended learning opportunities that engage students beyond the classroom walls and expose them to a healthier life style.”

About Dole Packaged Foods

Dole Packaged Foods LLC, a subsidiary of Dole International Holdings, is a leader in growing, sourcing, distributing and marketing fruit, vegetables and healthy snacks throughout the world.  Dole markets a full line of innovative packaged, frozen and dried fruit. The company focuses on four pillars of sustainability in all its operations: water management, carbon footprint, soil conservation and packaging. For more information, please visit www.dolesunshine.com or www.doleintlcsr.com.

About Harps

The company, which got its start when Floy and Harvard Harp put down $500 cash and opened the first Harp’s Cash Grocery in 1930, operates more than 86 grocery stores, mostly in Arkansas but also in Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Its stores, operating under the Harps Food Stores and Price Cutter Food Warehouse banners, range in size from 13,000 to 63,000 sq. ft. and often feature bakeries, pharmacies, and meat departments. Harps operated as a family-run chain until 2001 when it became an employee-owned business. The Company’s strategy has been to differentiate itself from the competition based on quality, service, and freshness at competitive prices. The Company promotes no solution/no sodium added fresh beef, pork and chicken. With customized cakes, Martha Harp fried chicken, donuts and rolls, the Harps name signifies quality. Combining that image with employee-owned service, Harps has become one of the grocery industry’s most recognized independent chains.  Harps is the largest employee-owned company headquartered in Arkansas and the 30th largest in the United States. Learn more at www.harpsfood.com

About Captain Planet Foundation (CPF)

Based on the critically-acclaimed animated series Captain Planet and the Planeteers, CPF was co-founded in 1991 by media mogul Ted Turner and producer Barbara Pyle.   Since then, the Captain Planet Foundation has played a critical role in helping to ensure that the next generation of business leaders and policy makers are environmentally literate citizens who leverage technology and information to manage and protect the air, land, and water upon which all life depends.

CPF is a grant-making foundation that has funded over 2,000 hands-on environmental education projects with schools and non-profits that serve children in all 50 U.S. states and in 23 countries internationally. More than 1.2 million children have directly participated in and benefited from these educational projects.  In addition to its Small Grants Program, the Captain Planet Foundation also operates the following programs: Project Learning Garden, the Leadership Center, SAGES, Planeteer Clubs, and a number of other science education initiatives that exploit the intersections between technology, innovation, the environment and personal action.  For more information: www.captainplanetfoundation.org.