DETROIT, Jan. 17, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Today, Big Green, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to building a healthier future for kids, is announcing that it will expand to Metro Detroit to build Learning Gardens in 100 local schools giving tens of thousands of kids a beautiful outdoor space and real food literacy programs.
Detroit represents the seventh American city for Big Green in its nationwide effort to build 1000 Learning Gardens in 10 cities by the end of 2020. The expansion to Detroit is now possible thanks to the generous corporate, foundation, and individual donors who collectively gave $2 million, nearly half of the $5 million capital campaign necessary to build beautiful, outdoor Learning Garden classrooms in 100 schools in Detroit. Gordon Food Service, Pathways Foundation, philanthropist Carole Ilitch, others are all supporting Big Green’s 100 Learning Garden initiative in Detroit.
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“We believe in the power of good food, and are committed to serving in the communities where we live and work,” said Rich Wolowski, President and CEO of Gordon Food Service. “Kimbal Musk and his team at Big Green are making great strides toward meaningful and measurable change by rallying support in pursuit of a healthier future for our kids in schools. We are incredibly proud to be a part of this ambitious program to help kids in Michigan.”
“Kimbal’s passion is inspiring and I was thrilled after we spoke to learn that his focus would be on Detroit’s children, creating amazing outdoor spaces to play and learn,” said Carole Ilitch. “Those like Kimbal, who help Detroit’s children, ultimately help build a stronger Detroit.”
“Access to real food is one of the key challenges facing our society. Unless we curb our addiction to processed, calorie rich, nutrient poor foods and replace them with real food, we will continue to suffer from obesity-related diseases that kill more people than smoking or gun violence,” said Kimbal Musk, Co-Founder and CEO of Big Green. “Detroit is a resilient city with passionate and dedicated residents who care about the future of their kids and schools. There is inspiring work happening in urban agriculture, community gardening, and school gardens in Detroit; and we are proud to join this collective effort to impact even more kids.”
At the helm of Big Green Detroit is Michigan native and long-time metro Detroit resident, Ken Elkins. With today’s announcement, Big Green is also naming Ken as the Detroit Regional Director. Ken is now hiring a local team of Garden Educators and Project Managers. He’s also partnering with Detroit landscape companies. Big Green Detroit is also now accepting applications from Superintendents, principals, teachers, and parents in Detroit to apply for a Learning Garden in their school. The organization will notify its first school in March 2018 and begin building Learning Gardens this April.
About Big Green
Big Green (formerly The Kitchen Community) was started in 2011 by The Kitchen co-founders Hugo Matheson and Kimbal Musk with the fundamental belief that every child should have the opportunity to play, learn, and grow in healthy communities. Big Green builds a healthier future for kids by connecting them to delicious real food through a nationwide network of Learning Gardens and food literacy programs. Big Green seeks to reduce preventable diet-related health disparities and teach lifelong healthy habits by building a national school food culture that promotes youth wellness. Today there are Learning Gardens in hundreds of schools around the United States reaching 250,000 students every day. For more information, please visit http://biggreen.org or follow on Twitter and Instagram @BigGreen.
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SOURCE Big Green