Gardens For Learning

What is the Gardens for Learning Grant Program?


Children gather around an outdoor cooking station to peel and slice zucchini for a lunch snack, Richford Health Center, 2016

Gardens for Learning is a grant and technical assistance program that provides a unique opportunity for participating communities to support summer gardening, nutrition, and cooking programs for children at risk of summertime hunger.  By learning how to grow their own food in an engaging and supportive environment and using that food to make healthy snacks, children are not only changing their own habits, but increasing their families’ overall food security.

The Gardens for Learning grant program provides funding for gardening and planning support.  Programs run at affordable housing sites, schools, community health centers, and summer camps.  Some locations almost exclusively engage in gardening and cooking activities, while others are part of a larger program offering a host of other summertime activities. Each site is responsible for planning its own program and tailoring hands-on activities to suit the needs of their preschool to middle-school aged youth participants, within the framework of the Gardens For Learning educational goals.

My son never ate green beans, but when he brings a bag home that he picked from the gardens, he can’t wait for us to both sit down together to eat them.”     – Mother of a youth participant from Green Acres Apartments, 2016

We invite you to read our 2017 Gardens for Learning Final Program Report to learn more about the grant program and the impact it has had on communities across Vermont.




A thematic “First Aid garden” with medicinal herbs and flowers was planted at the Highgate Public Library, 2016

We are grateful for past long-time program funders, the O.P. and W.E. Edwards Foundation, and support from City Market and Community Bank NA.  The support and guidance of Food Works Co-Founder Joseph Kiefer, along with funding from the Charles Gamper Fund and the Canaday Family Charitable Trust, were essential to the successful program transition. 


Children look for vegetables that are ready to harvest from the summer garden at the Richford Health Center.

Children look for vegetables that are ready to harvest from the summer garden at the Richford Health Center, 2015.

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