This summer, hundreds of families will get to try their hand at gardening—many for the first time—thanks to HealthPartners yumPower and the Minnesota State Horticultural Society. And four HealthPartners clinics are joining in the fun with their own community gardens!
HealthPartners yumPower is the new sponsor of Garden-in-a-Box, which was created in 2008 by the Minnesota State Horticultural Society. The goal is to support low-income households in growing their own vegetables by supplying the materials, seeds and education they need to get started.
Breaking down barriers
“We see the Garden-in-a-Box program as an opportunity to break down barriers that prevent people from eating fresh, better-for-you foods,” says Donna Zimmerman, HealthPartners senior vice president of government and community relations. “The reality is that not everyone has access to fresh food, and the Garden-in-a-Box program provides resources and supplies to give low-income families access. With these container gardens, families can grow their own fresh vegetables in their backyard eliminating those barriers.”
Thanks to HealthPartners sponsorship, 200 gardens will be distributed to local families and some select schools serving students in need. Each 3 foot by 4 foot raised garden bed comes with soil, plants, gardening basic instructions, a yumPower 101 better-for-you eating book, spice jar, meal planner and a veggie preparation sheet. Another 100 boxes will be available at retail cost to the community.
This May, HealthPartners Coon Rapids and Inver Grove Heights clinics installed their own Gardens-in-a-Box, and HealthPartners Brooklyn Center Dental Clinic and HealthPartners White Bear Lake Clinic replanted their garden boxes from last year. Colleagues at all locations are looking forward to testing out their green thumbs!