Whole Kids Foundation Ensures

Fruitful Future for Maui Keiki

Schools will receive $2,000 grants to establish community and school gardens


Kahului, HI  – This fall, island keiki will head back to school with their backpacks stocked with all the classroom essentials – pencils, paper and … gardening tools? Thanks to the Whole Kids Foundation, a nonprofit created by Whole Foods Market, in cooperation with FoodCorps, has selected two Maui-based schools to receive grants of $2000 each to build or expand upon community and school gardens.


Kihei Elementary (Kihei) and Kihei Charter School (Kihei) were named recipients of the garden grants which will provide students access to fresh produce, establish a better understanding of where food comes from and bridge the connection of a healthy planet with a healthy body. On Oahu, Ke Kula ‘O Samuel M. Kamakau (Kane’ohe), Kainalu Elementary (Kailua), Makaha Elementary (Makaha), and Waikiki Elementary (Honolulu) were all selected to receive garden grants.


“We are so excited to give Maui keiki this hands-on education and opportunities to help them to understand the benefits of eating in a healthy way,” said Elyse Ditzel, Whole Foods Market Kahului marketing supervisor. “We encourage our shoppers to find new and innovative ways to establish healthier eating habits. These grants extend those efforts to our keiki in a way that will hopefully stay with them for many years to come.”


In addition to providing funds, each grant recipient will receive a copy of “How to Grow a School Garden” by Arden Bucklin-Sporer and Rachel Pringle, a digital garden kit, seed packages from High Mowing Organics, discounts for gardening supplies and ongoing opportunities for mentoring and support from FoodCorps, which will help recipients build and sustain their gardens to ensure long-term success.


The Whole Kids Foundation is currently extending $2 million in grant funds to more than 1,000 schools and garden-related nonprofits throughout the country, which will support a broad range of projects including raised-bed garden construction, vertical gardens and larger-scale expansions in schools, outdoor classroom projects, composting and rainwater collection.


Whole Foods Market launched the Whole Kids Foundation to increase children’s access to healthy foods. The foundation currently focuses on the following:

  • Ongoing work to install salad bars in schools, providing children with access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Offering garden grants to create and expand school and community gardening.
  • Education for teachers through classes and resources aimed to promote health and nutrition in the classroom.


For additional information on Whole Foods Market’s Kahului store, please visit www.wholefoodsmarket.com/maui/ or call (808) 872-3310. To keep up-to-date on the latest store news, events and sales, follow Whole Foods Market Kahului on Facebook at  www.facebook.com/WFMKahuluiand on twitter at  www.twitter.com/wfmkahului.