For 15 years, Apple Seeds has been on a mission to inspire healthy living among students through hands-on, garden-based nutrition and cooking education. Now, the child-focused nonprofit has announced its expansion into Central Arkansas, made possible through a partnership with Arkansas Children's.
Apple Seeds, established in Northwest Arkansas, has been dedicated to furnishing nutrition education and facilitating access to fresh, wholesome foods for more than 100,000 students in the region.
In Central Arkansas, Apple Seeds will be collaborating with local schools to provide students at all K-5 grade levels with hands-on and engaging farm field trips and in-school culinary education hosted at Oak Forest Community Garden. This venture is in partnership with the University District Development Corporation and the University of Arkansas Little Rock.
But the expansion does not stop there. Apple Seeds is excited to introduce during-school cooking education curriculum at local elementary schools across Central Arkansas. This carefully crafted culinary curriculum will empower young minds with practical culinary skills, equipping them for a lifetime of wholesome eating habits.
Apple Seeds Executive Director Mary Thompson expressed her excitement for this new chapter, stating, “We are thrilled to bring our garden-based nutrition and cooking education to Central Arkansas. By collaborating with Arkansas Children's and local partners, we are sowing the seeds of knowledge, fostering a love for nutrition, and cultivating a healthier, more empowered generation.”
Arkansas Children's is providing financial support for Apple Seeds over the next three years, recognizing the critical importance of nutrition education in combating diet-related diseases and food insecurity among children. The partnership is one of several initiatives and nonprofits Arkansas Children’s supports statewide to address food insecurity directly where children live, learn, and play.
“Arkansas Children’s is focused on supporting a variety of partnerships to advance health for children. We’ve seen first-hand how Apple Seeds helps children incorporate healthy living into their homes and communities,” said Marisha DiCarlo, vice president of community engagement, advocacy, and health for Arkansas Children’s. “We have been pleased to support their work in Northwest Arkansas for the past few years and are thrilled that this expansion will continue to build healthier communities in a way that also brings children fun and joy.”