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Kitchen Garden Plans Get Start from Whole Kids Foundation.
10/20/2014

Whole Kids Foundation Makes $2,000 Grant to New Kitchen Garden at McCarthy Center

 
College of the Desert Foundation has received a generous grant of $2,000 from the Whole Kids Foundation to partially fund development of the Kitchen Garden at the McCarthy Family Child Development & Training Center at College of the Desert (COD). 
 
“We are so appreciative of this grant which helps kick off fundraising for the $30,000 learning Kitchen Garden project at College of the Desert,” stated Jim Hummer, COD Foundation Executive Director.  “This garden will not only be used to feed the children in our care, it will also be an important teaching garden for our students who are being trained to be the next generation of childcare teachers and workers who teach and care for the youngest of our children each and every day.”
 
The gift to COD Foundation comes as the community welcomes Whole Foods Market to the city of Palm Desert with the opening this week of the first Whole Foods Market in the Coachella Valley. 
 
The McCarthy Center at COD changes the lives of families every year by providing high-quality care for children ages 1 to 5, while their parents attend school and work. The Kitchen Garden project is estimated to yield 7.2 lbs of produce a day, 365 days a year. In all, once growing, the Kitchen Garden will meet 30 percent of the Center’s total need. Currently the McCarthy Center prepares 350 fresh, nutritious meals for an average 145 children every day of the school week.
 
The Kitchen Garden will also provide hands-on training to College of the Desert students in a variety of areas including early childhood education, nutrition, agriculture and culinary arts.

Of Note: 

  • According to the Cornell Garden-Based Learning Programm, garden learning environments can help increase nutrition awareness, environmental awareness, higher learning achievements, and increase life skills. Youth who participate in garden-based learning programs have increased their consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, and gained new enthusiasm for fresh, nutritious vegetables they grew. 
  • Teachers believe learning gardens to be very effective at enhancing academic performance, physical activity, language arts, and healthful eating habits.  
  • According to the Health Access Resource Center, of the more than 48,144 children younger than 12 years in the Coachella Valley, half are solely cared for by their parents, the other half (24,000) are sometimes in the care of family members (34.1 percent) and at least 2,407 children receive some of their care in licensed family child care homes and group centers across our valley cities.

Our children in the Coachella Valley deserve the best we can offer them during their early learning years.  

To contribute to the Kitchen Garden project, click HERE or on DONATE TODAY! Next to “Other” enter desired amount; under the optional “designated toward” line select “Signature Programs at COD;" on the optional “dedication” line type “Kitchen Garden." Or, if you would like to discuss the project and ways to contribute, please call the Foundation, 760-773-2561.