It is gardening season, which means it is time to get our hands dirty and get real about food. This spring, Kashi is introducing a unique program called #PlantitForward to make a positive difference in communities across Canada. Kashi and Evergreen, a not for profit organization dedicated to green cities and a healthy planet, are partnering to increase access to fresh, healthy, locally grown foods by building and supporting 18 community gardens. Community residents will take part in the planning process and help build a garden that will provide real food to nourish their family and friends.
To kick off this program, Kashi and Evergreen are planting a brand new garden at the Toronto Kiwanis Boys and Girls Club (101 Spruce Street, Toronto, M5A 2J3) in Cabbagetown on Thursday, May 15 from 7:00-9:00am. The club, which services more than 1,300 children and youth each year, will see its concrete landscape transformed into a thriving vegetable garden. Members of the Boys and Girls Club are involved in every step of creating their garden, beginning with planning sessions facilitated by Evergreen’s urban gardening experts, through to tilling the soil and sowing seeds. Once the garden is planted, it will be the responsibility of the boys and girls to maintain and nurture their garden. All summer long, they will enjoy the fresh fruits of their labour.
Kashi is also supporting Evergreen’s mission by donating $1 for every time a Canadian watches the Kashi’s Real Food Manifesto video (to a maximum of $50,000).
"Urban gardens engage and empower youth and residents to develop a deeper understanding of food and where real food comes from. When caregivers and kids cultivate their own fruits and vegetables, not only do they connect with nature, but they gain a love and appreciation for healthier, more nutritious and organic foods," says Ashlee Cooper, Project Manager, Urban Agriculture, Evergreen. “The simple addition of an urban garden in a community has the power to encourage healthy physical, educational and social development in the entire neighbourhood.”
Tara Nolan, co-founder of SavvyGardening.com and Kashi Plant it Forward ambassador, has partnered with Kashi to share her gardening tips and get Canadians growing. She says, "Growing food at home is a practical way to make sure you have fresh, healthy ingredients on hand. Whether you have a yard or a balcony, it is surprisingly easy to grow fresh fruit, herbs and veggies with just a bit of gardening know-how. If you want to get started, look for the organic seed packets that are currently on specially marked boxes of Kashi products as part of the Plant it Forward program."
To further underline Kashi's commitment to real food and non-GMO ingredients, Kashi has recently introduced two new products. Kashi Organic Promise Simply Maize and Kashi Organic Promise Indigo Morning are both gluten-free and certified organic. Kashi's growing line of Non-GMO Project Verified cereals currently features ten products and is committed to growing this number to make over half of its food to be Non-GMO Project Verified by the end of 2015.
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