chandler – Calling all green thumbs!

Here is your chance to win a learning garden for your favorite elementary school in Arizona, courtesy of Dole Packaged Foods and Bashas’ and Food City supermarkets.

Now through Feb. 28, Arizona residents can fill out an application online to nominate their favorite K-5 school in the state (located within a 10-mile distance of a Bashas’ or Food City grocery store) for a chance to receive a learning garden at bashas.com or captain planet foundation.org/contest/bashas.

Two elementary schools will receive the comprehensive Captain Planet Foundation Project Learning Garden program, valued at $3,000.

The Learning Garden comes complete with a raised bed garden, lesson kits, schoolyard garden supplies, a fully equipped garden cooking cart, and strategies for garden maintenance. If the school already has a garden, it is still eligible to enter for a chance to win a garden expansion package. (Maldonado Elementary School in Tucson and Holdeman Elementary School in Tempe each received the Captain Planet Foundation Learning Garden prize last year.)

“Dole is all about ‘Sunshine for All’ good, healthy food should be more like sunshine available for all,” said Laura Pedersen, Sales Director, Dole Packaged Foods. “What better way to provide good, nutritious food than through a learning garden. We are thrilled to be partnering with Captain Planet Foundation and Bashas’ and Food City grocery stores for a sixth year to grant these learning gardens to Arizona elementary schools.”

The Learning Garden program provides a context for multidisciplinary learning, ranging from nutrition and science to social studies, math, and language arts. Students benefit by expanding their palates, taste testing healthy foods, and learning about food origins.

“Anything can be taught in the context of the garden, and this hands on learning helps students understand how to grow food and eat more healthily,” said Leesa Carter-Jones, President & CEO of Captain Planet Foundation. “Captain Planet Foundation engages and empowers young people to be problem solvers for the planet and we are thrilled to be working with Dole, Bashas’ and Food City to provide two lucky elementary schools in Arizona with the learning garden program.”

The two elementary schools selected to receive learning gardens will be notified and announced in March.

“This annual partnership is such a joy,” said Ashley Shick, Director of Communications & Public Affairs for Bashas’ Family of Stores. “We are grateful for community and education focused organizations like Dole and the Captain Planet Foundation and their commitment to providing hands on food exploration for youth.

“Knowing where food comes from is a critical component of making healthier choices throughout life and this program allows students of all ages to explore this concept first hand.”

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