BOONE, Iowa (KCAU) – Fareway and Dole Packaged Foods, LLC began their second annual Learning Garden contest for elementary schools in five states to learn more about nutrition and science.

The contest will grant two elementary schools in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, with a Captain Planet Foundation Learning Garden and it will run until March 4. The schools also have to be within 20 miles of a Fareway store.

The two schools will win a comprehensive Learning Garden that has a schoolyard garden, fully-equipped garden cooking cart, lesson kits full of supplies, and strategies for summer garden maintenance.

“Fareway is excited to partner with Dole and the Captain Planet Foundation for a second year. We are committed to supporting educational excellence, and the hands-on garden and curriculum is an integral part of the conversation when teaching kids where their food comes from,” said Jeff Stearns, Vice President of Marketing for Fareway. “We encourage every elementary school to consider entering for their chance at winning this great, free resource.”

“Dole is very excited to be partnering with Fareway again to bring two lucky schools Learning Gardens. It is so important for children to learn about where their food comes from and develop healthy eating habits at an early age,” said Marty Ordman, Communications Director, Dole Packaged Foods.

The Project Learning Garden’s program provides a context of multidisciplinary learning from science and nutrition to social studies, language arts, and math.

Elementary school students will benefit from the program by expanding their taste-testing healthy foods, palates, and learning about food origins.

“So many subjects can be taught in the garden and hands-on garden learning is an excellent way to support student understanding of natural systems, food origins, and healthy eating,” said Leesa Carter, President & CEO of Captain Planet Foundation. “Captain Planet Foundation is dedicated to ensuring that kids are armed with an understanding of the natural world in which they live, and we are thrilled to be partnering again with Fareway and Dole Packaged Foods to provide two lucky schools with Project Learning Gardens.”

Last year’s Learning Garden winners were:

  • Interstate 35 Elementary School in Truro, Iowa
  • Leeds Elementary School in Sioux City, Iowa
  • Medford Elementary School in Medford, MN
  • Truman Elementary School in Truman, MN

For more information and to enter into the contest, go to the Captain Planet Foundation website.