Kids Garden Fresh Gives St. Louis Students a Chance to Grow

K. Manning 9/8/2011

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Just in time for the new school year, Kids Garden Fresh—a partnership between Gateway Greening and the Monsanto Fund—will establish 13 new school gardens for students throughout the St. Louis area.

The Monsanto Fund donated $400,000 to support 20 new school gardens over a two-year period. On Aug. 11, Gateway Greening—a non-profit organization promoting urban neighborhood gardening—awarded 13 Kids Garden Fresh grants. Seven grants will be awarded during the next school year.

The grants allow schools the opportunity to build or expand their school gardens. The school gardens provide students the opportunity to grow fresh fruits and vegetables, while learning lessons in math, science and agronomy. These gardens also contribute to the vitality of the awarded schools and their communities.

“Monsanto Fund believes that the Kids Garden Fresh program is an ideal way to give back to St. Louis children and their local neighborhoods,” Deborah Patterson, Monsanto Fund president, said. “With the new school year upon us, the Kids Garden Fresh program is an excellent opportunity for students in this community to apply their math and science learnings while gaining valuable experience in growing their own fruits vegetables.”

Gateway Greening and the Kids Garden Fresh Program not only encourage learning in a fun way, but also promote neighborhood and regional partnerships with local schools. FFA area chapters, including chapters from Union, Missouri and Okawville, Illinois, will work with recipient schools to help students understand how food gets from the field to the grocery store and share experiences about living in a rural or urban environment.

As a part of Kids Garden Fresh and Gateway Greening’s Youth Programs, schools will also have access to Saturday workshops at local gardens, curricula advice, technical gardening advice and free seeds.

The Kids Garden Fresh program is just one of many similar programs the Monsanto Fund supports.

“More than 200,000 students around the world, from Africa to California, participate in Monsanto sponsored gardens,” Patterson said. “These gardens are a great way for young people to understand where their food comes from.”