News – Grant Award!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Jenna Clarke, Project GROWS, 804.690.3369, www.projectgrows.org

Project GROWS, an educational farm for youth in Augusta County, expands services with the help of a multi-year grant from the Virginia Foundation For Healthy Youth.

VERONA, Va.  (Augusta 19, 2014) – Project GROWS, a non-profit educational farm located in Augusta County, announced today a recent grant award from the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth (VFHY). The grant, totaling $63,000 over the next two years starting July 1, 2014, will allow the farm to expand its current programming and add new partners in order to fulfill its mission: improving the overall health of children and youth in Staunton, Waynesboro and Augusta County.

Funding will support both Project GROWS educational programming as well as increasing access to healthy local food in the community. In partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of Staunton, Waynesboro and Augusta County, funding will support the development of a healthy cooking program to compliment the existing gardening curriculum taking place for the third year at Project GROWS’ farm on Berry Farm Road. Project GROWS will also use the funding to establish partnerships with local public schools and increase the number of local children visiting the farm to learn how to grow vegetables.

“Our main focus over the last three years at Project GROWS has been on establishing a mixed vegetable farm and developing a solid curriculum to teach youth where their food comes from and how to grow it. This funding puts us in the incredible position to expand our programming throughout Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta County by creating new partnerships and reaching new groups of youth. It’s an exciting time for local food in the Valley,” said Jenna Clarke, Project GROWS’ Director of Operations.

This is the second round of two-year funding awarded to Project GROWS through the VFHY as part of a healthy community action team (HCAT). The first round of funding helped to launch Project GROWS in 2010 and establish the 10-acre farm and its educational programming.

With the help of the Project GROWS team, food grown on the farm is planted and harvested by children and youth as a part of programming and activities that address Project GROWS’ mission to reduce youth obesity in Staunton, Augusta and Waynesboro. A portion of food grown at Project GROWS is donated with the remaining sold in order to raise funds for educational programming. Donated food goes to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Waynesboro, Staunton and Augusta County and the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. Members of the community may purchase weekly deliveries of food through the Project GROWS Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, or by visiting the Project GROWS’ booth at either the North Augusta Farmer’s Market every Wednesday from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Verona Government Center Market dock, or the Waynesboro Saturday Market from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Project GROWS is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization whose mission is to improve the overall health of children and youth in Staunton, Waynesboro and Augusta County. Project GROWS was founded in 2010 and initially funded through a grant from the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth and a multi-year grant from the Augusta Health Foundation. Project GROWS is a host organization of the Allegheny Mountain School Phase II fellowship and was awarded two fellows for the 2013 and 2014 years. For more information contact Project GROWS (540) 480-0371 or visit online www.ProjectGROWS.org and https://www.facebook.com/ProjectGrows.

Contact:

Jenna Clarke

jenna@projectgrows.org

Office: (540) 480-0371

Cell: (804) 690-3369

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