In 2012, Western Growers Foundation (WGF) worked with the California Department of Education (CDE), Nutrition Services Division (NSD) to provide 100 garden grants of $1,000 each to eligible child care centers or preschools participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). These competitive garden grants were awarded to agencies or sites that demonstrate how they will use garden-enhanced nutrition education to promote fruit and vegetable consumption among 2-5 year olds in child care or preschool settings.
Gardens provide excellent nutrition education and physical activity opportunities for young children through the experiences of planting, harvesting, and eating the fruits and vegetables they have grown. This program is made possible through a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant, administered through California Department of Food and Agriculture, to WGF.
Through this grant, WGF developed a resource guide, titled "If They Grow It, They’ll Eat It, 7 Tips for Pre-School Edible Gardens." The goal of the resource guide is to show the importance of school gardens for 2-5 year olds, tips for creating and sustaining a garden and the powerful impacts of children having a garden.