PACT, Indiegogo & Whole Kids Are Crowdfunding School Gardens Across America

Urban Gardens

Help crowdfund one of 100 sustainable school gardens in urban areas across the country.

As crowdfunding is becoming increasingly popular, thanks to sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, it’s easier than ever to support causes that we truly believe in like giving children access to fresh food and teaching them about the importance of healthy eating through school gardens.

This month, Whole Kids Foundation, PACT, and Indiegogo have teamed up to help fund 100 sustainable school gardens in urban areas across the US. The Urban Gardens Across America campaign enables donors to fund the garden project (or projects) of their choice through the world’s largest crowdfunding platform to help give the children tools that will empower then throughout their lives.

healthy student

School gardens brings this kind of nutritional education straight to the children and serve as living laboratories for education. Today, only 2 percent of American children eat enough fruits and vegetables, and 1 in 3 American children born after 2000 is at risk for Type II diabetes. A garden is an introduction to what it takes to produce real, healthy food — from seed to plate. With more than 80 percent of Americans living in cities and suburbs, further away from farms and food production, it’s more important than ever to teach children the values of natural processes.

fresh veggies

The goal is to raise $2,500 for each garden in just 39 days. For a contribution as small as $10, you can help feed, teach, and inspire people in each of these 100 communities. With every contribution, donors will receive great perks from mission-driven organic apparel brand PACT, including ethically made undies, socks and tees. To support the campaign, PACT has designed a garden-inspired collection of socks, tanks, T-shirts, leggings and underwear. “Our Spring 2013 collection reflects our dedication to the urban farms movement from our Farm Stripes to our Blossom prints,” says Jeff Denby, owner of PACT. “We are excited to connect PACT with urban farms across the country and raise awareness of the importance of eating healthy foods.”

green beans

The Whole Kids Foundation, a Whole Foods Market foundation, will provide additional support for each garden, like online garden planning tools and organic seeds to help build or expand each urban garden. “Gardening helps create a tangible experience that connects parents and kids to real food and helps inspires healthier eating habits,” said Nona Evans, executive director for Whole Kids Foundation.

kale and celery

“It’s inspiring to know that a mission-driven foundation, brand and crowdfunding platform can not only do good together, but we can also empower people to take action and influence what happens in their local communities,” said Danae Ringelmann, Co-Founder of Indiegogo.

kids vegetables

To engage the community and rally support around these campaigns, each one is led by a “PACTivist” who acts as an advocate for a particular garden. I am honored to represent the garden at Meiners Oaks Elementary School in Ojai, CA. It’s a great example of a successful school garden, as nearly 70 percent of 1st-6th graders choose to participate. Every Wednesday, budding gardeners help with tasks like planting, watering, weeding, harvesting, sifting compost, and saving seeds, but also get to enjoy the fruits of their labor by making raw tacos and snacking on garden fresh veggies.

urban garden locator

The Gardens Across America campaign runs until February 28. Help us support the Meiners Oaks garden or find one in your community.

photography from Meiners Oaks Elementary, all by Timothy Teague

Johanna Björk

Johanna is a sustainable fashion writer currently based in Ojai, CA. Read her weekly On Trend column to learn what's new in eco fashion.