"We Heart Veggies. Seriously."
That's what fourth-grade students tell us when they complete the Veggie U program. We know what you’re thinking: “That’s impossible!” But luckily for many Oregon fourthgraders, PacificSource’s Wellness Coordinator Charis Allenbaugh believed that kids could and would get excited about eating vegetables if they could see and be a part of the entire process.
PacificSource funded the Veggie U program in eight Oregon classrooms last year, and is continuing the program in eight classrooms this year. Veggie U offers kits complete with seeds, soil, flats, root view boxes, grow lights, and even worm farms. These materials allow students to get hands-on experience with every stage of vegetable planting, growing, and harvesting. Since the students invest so much time and effort into growing these vegetables, they’re more likely to eat them, and to try other new, healthy foods.
“We’ve noticed that our kids have started taking more vegetables in the lunch line,” said one fourthgrade teacher. “I’ve also heard from several parents that their children are asking for different vegetables once they get home. That alone has been worth the time to offer the program.” We asked the kids who participated what their favorite part of the program was. Besides eating the yummy vegetables they grew themselves, their clear choice was the worm farms!
It’s exciting to see such a great program be embraced by kids, teachers, and parents. Veggie U has the potential to benefit the lives of hundreds of children in the communities we serve, and PacificSource is proud to sponsor it.
Veggie U was sponsored by Healthy Communities.
Healthy Communities, our community giving program, supports nonprofit organizations in the communities where we do business. It is an employee committee charged with reviewing requests and making recommendations on PacificSource’s involvement. Visit our Healthy Communities Giving Program page to learn more about the program.