(March, 24 2014) – Launching today, the DOLE Fruit Bowls®, Captain Planet Foundation and Tops Friendly Markets Learning Garden Grant contest will offer elementary schools in the Tops Friendly Markets service area the chance to win a learning garden installation for their school. Together, these three organizations are joining forces to offer local students the opportunity to interact with the environment through a learning garden, while expanding their palates and learning about food origins.
“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 DOLE Fruit Bowls as a healthy snack or lunchbox addition. With DOLE Fruit Bowls, students not only get to enjoy one serving of delicious fruit no matter the season, they can reuse the bowl to plant a seedling in and watch it grow,” said Stan Stuka, Senior Business Manager, DOLE Fruit Bowls. “By partnering with Captain Planet Foundation and Tops Friendly Markets to host the Learning Garden Grant program, we are helping more students learn about and develop healthy habits.”
The contest will be hosted on CaptainPlanetFoundation.org through May 3, 2014. Two winning schools, which will be announced at the beginning of June, will receive five raised beds planted on school property, a fully-equipped mobile cooking cart, and lesson supply kits that will contain all the necessary tools for learning in the garden. Standards-based lesson plans for incorporating the learning garden into curriculum will also be provided to teachers, who will have the opportunity to attend a one-day professional development workshop locally-hosted by Captain Planet Foundation.
“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 Leesa Carter, Executive 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 Tops Friendly Markets and DOLE Fruit Bowls to provide two winning schools with CPF Learning Gardens!”
The winning schools will also be honored with an end-of-year celebration for teachers and students, hosted by Tops Friendly Markets.
"We are excited to provide this opportunity for the schools within our communities to enter the Learning Garden Grant program," said Frank Curci, Tops president and CEO. "Giving back to the neighborhoods we serve is incredibly important to us, and we are always looking for ways to improve the quality of the life for children through education around nutrition and healthy living."
About Dole Packaged Foods
Dole Packaged Foods, LLC, a subsidiary of Dole International Holdings, is a leader in sourcing, processing, distributing and marketing fruit products and healthy snacks throughout the world. Dole markets a full line of canned, jarred, cup, frozen and dried fruit products and is an innovator in new forms of packaging and processing fruit. For more information please visit www.dole.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 land, air and water upon which all life depends.
CPF is a grant-making foundation that has distributed more than $2.5 million to fund over 1,700 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 million children have directly participated in and benefited from these educational projects. In addition to its Small Grants Program, the Captain Planet Foundation also supports its Learning Gardens Program, Planeteer Clubs after-school program, and a number of other science education initiatives. For more information: www.captainplanetfoundation.org.
About Tops Friendly Markets
Tops Friendly Markets, LLC, is headquartered in Williamsville, NY and operates 159 full-service supermarkets – 154 company-owned and five franchise locations under the Tops, Grand Union and Bryant’s banners. With more than 15,000 associates, Tops is a leading full-service grocery retailer in upstate New York, northern Pennsylvania and western Vermont. For more information about Tops Friendly Markets, visit the company’s website at www.topsmarkets.com.
Tops Friendly Markets® is proud of our work with hundreds of local organizations in the communities we serve – our community partners. Our partnered success last year, with you, our customer, gave Tops the opportunity to make donations in excess of $5 million to not-for-profit organizations that share our belief that by helping to feed those in need and enhancing the quality of life for children through education and excellent health care, we build a strong future together.
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