ST. LOUIS, MO, January 5, 2016 – Gateway Greening is the recipient of a $50,000 Aetna Foundation grant to provide general support to Gateway Greening’s Youth and Education program for the next two years. The Aetna Foundation has been supporting Gateway Greening and their mission to educate and empower people to strengthen their communities through gardening and urban agriculture since 2014.
Gateway Greening currently supports 90 community gardens throughout the St. Louis area and sends two youth educators to teach in six schools several times a month. These educators provide great lessons for students of our partner organizations, but they also work to educate teachers on the benefits of teaching core subjects in the healthy and active environment of the garden.
The grant from the Aetna Foundation will help transform gardens in public schools into learning environments that support health, academic success and lifelong learning for young people in St. Louis. Gateway Greening will provide intensive garden education, basic garden supplies and ongoing technical assistance in local schools for teachers and families. Funds also will support a summer youth employment program that teaches young people how to grow food and develop skills to increase their chances of career success and their ability to make a positive contribution to society.
Gateway Greening will collaborate with Fontbonne University to bring healthy eating lessons to children. Hannah Reinhart, Program Director for Gateway Greening said, “We would like to thank the Aetna Foundation for their continued support of the youth gardening program. This grant will allow us to expand on an established partnership with Fontbonne University’s Department of Nutrition and Dietetics to help us teach nutrition and cooking workshops at school gardens,” Reinhart said.
“Good nutrition and physical exercise not only form the building blocks for a lifetime of good health, they also are critical factors in helping children be ready to learn,” said Garth Graham, M.D., M.P.H., president of the Aetna Foundation. “We are pleased to support Gateway Greening’s program and help youth in St. Louis establish healthy habits at a young age.”
ABOUT GATEWAY GREENING
Gateway Greening is a non-profit organization that educates and empowers people to strengthen their communities through gardening and urban agriculture. Gateway Greening has been working to provide creative, grassroots solutions to urban problems since 1984. Programs include supporting more than 200 community and youth-focused gardens across the St. Louis area through educational opportunities, garden supplies and technical assistance; urban beautification projects that enhance the St. Louis urban landscape; and the City Seeds Urban Farm, a 2.5 acre farm in downtown St. Louis that provides therapeutic horticulture and a jobs training program. @gatewaygreening
ABOUT THE AETNA FOUNDATION
The Aetna Foundation is the independent charitable and philanthropic arm of Aetna (NYSE: AET). Since 1980, Aetna and the Aetna Foundation have contributed more than $445 million in grants and sponsorships. As a national health foundation, we promote wellness, health, and access to high-quality health care for everyone. This work is enhanced by the time and commitment of Aetna employees, who have volunteered 3.4 million hours since 2003. For more information, visit www.aetnafoundation.org.