Winner Update: School Garden Project of Lane County

Mindy Bell, I’m the executive director with School Garden Project of Lane County. In addition to coming back, which this is, I’ll tell you, this is much easier than when I was here last time. I wanted to give you a little bit of an update with regard to what impact your donation has had on our organization. So the first thing that I’ll tell you, which was something I didn’t share with you last time, is that we’re a very, very small nonprofit. Our entire budget is about $290k a year. We barely register as a nonprofit, so we’re just barely considered a going concern. So your donation last session of $10,600 was amazing. The amount of work that we have to do to raise that kind of funds is just unbelievable. So I cannot thank you enough. I mean, just thank you, thank you, thank you. What’s happened with those dollars? So just as a refresher, what we do is we partner with 21 elementary and middle schools throughout 4J, Bethel and Springfield school districts. And we teach science in the garden lessons. So we start in a traditional classroom, we take those kiddos out to the garden, we enforce the science lessons, they learn how to grow their own food. They learned at every class they get to taste at least one fruit or vegetable. So that $10,600 is helping fund one of those schools for a year. That deserves an applause. That’s, I mean, that’s amazing. That’s amazing. And so you’re helping those children not only learn about science, but also many of our students, over 68% of our students receive free or reduced lunch and are part of Title 1A schools. So they’re children that have been identified as needing extra attention. For many of them, the only meals they get during the day are at school. So our program introduces them and to where their food comes from. For many of them, it’s the only opportunity that they get to have to taste fresh. But like I said, that $10,600 is so major to us. My organization, my board, you guys made me look really good. It was phenomenal. So, one school of children for an entire year now will be funded, so thank you all so much.

Mindy Bell
Sustainable Science

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