Growing a Healthier Generation

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Growing a Healthier Generation

As told by Sari Soffer


'The Ground Up Campaign,' a partnership between Bird's Nest Productions and the United States of Food, announced that it will be donating edible gardens this fall to 51 New York City public schools across 3 different boroughs in an attempt to instill students with healthier eating habits. 

Bird’s Nest Productions, partnered with theUnited States of Food, launched ‘The Ground Up Campaign’ on May 9 to promote an educational food revolution in New York City schools. This week, it extended its initiative to the 51 recipients of the 2011 Excellence in School Wellness Award.

The NYC Strategic Alliance for Health (SAfH) granted the awards at ceremonies in three NYC boroughs last week. This award recognizes elementary schools for their efforts in creating a healthy school environment as a means to prevent childhood obesity and improve academic achievement. Leaders of The Ground Up Campaign attended the ceremonies to announce that each elementary school will receive its own edible, academic garden in the fall—in addition to the plaques and banners that were distributed.

“We are very excited to partner with the NYC Strategic Alliance for Health to provide an opportunity for elementary students to learn about and participate in the process of growing food naturally to teach and learn healthy eating habits in and outside of the home,” said Avis Richards, founder and CEO of Bird’s Nest Foundation.

The Ground Up Campaign aims to educate children about the process of growing food naturally. Students will experience their food from seed to plate to learn about healthy eating.

“This generous contribution to 51 public schools will go a long way in making our classrooms healthy, risk-free environments for the next generation of New Yorkers,” said Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer.

The ceremonies took place in Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx over the past week. Ground Up Campaign leaders Avis Richards, Lisa Suriano, Shane Emmett and Stephen Ritz were surprise guests. They introduced their announcement with a short video and explanation about the campaign.

The Ground Up Campaign identified a total of 100 NYC elementary schools to receive the edible, academic gardens and plans to expand the initiative across the nation.

To learn more about The Ground Up Campaign, visit its page on Bird Nest Productions' website:


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