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Spring 2014



Connecting communities through food, farms, and education


ith sincere appreciation to our countless donors, supporters and friends, we have reached an exciting milestone in Greener Partners’ 6-year history! In April 2014, Greener Partners celebrated the 1-Year Anniversary of our Farm Explorer™ program- the country’s first mobile-farm of its kind! Farm Explorer™ has traveled to 7 counties in three states, conducted 74 school visits, reaching 7,270 children and families with hands-on experiences with food from seed to plate.


With the launch of Farm Explorer™ in 2013, Greener Partners began a 3-year collaboration with Independence Blue Cross Foundation’s Healthy Futures Initiative a multi-dimensional approach to combating childhood obesity through three critical components of child wellness: eat right, get fit, and stay well. IBC Foundation’s Healthy Futures Initiative enables us to bring our year-round programming to 20 schools in the 5-county, greater Philadelphia region. In addition to our outreach in schools, the Farm Explorer™ provides authentic, hands-on programming to public audiences, including to legacy institutions such as the Franklin Institute, and community spaces such as Eakin’s Oval in Philadelphia. With another partner, Junior League of Philadelphia, we also participate in regional outreach events at Smith Memorial Playground and Lankeneau Hospital. We’ve rolled out our program in church parking lots, summer camps, senior centers, and farmer’s markets. From Wilmington, DE to Camden, NJ, the Farm Explorer™ has reached entirely new audiences beyond the scope of To commemorate our one-year anniversary of the Greener Partners’ existing outreach. We could not be here launch of the Farm Explorer™ - Greener Partners is without the generous and continued support of our friends pleased to announce we are expanding this exciting and donors, so thank you! Why This Program is So Important:

program! Please see the inside cover for more information on our plans for expansion from Founder/Executive Director, Jason Ingle.

The Challenge With high-calorie, processed foods so prevalent and familiarity with fresh, seasonal eating so low, rates of obesity are at the highest point in U.S. history. In Pennsylvania, 1 in 3 children are overweight or obese; in Philadelphia, it’s nearly 1 in 2. Obesity is shown to increase a child’s risk for diabetes and heart disease. Low-income populations are particularly at a higher risk for food-related diseases due to lack of access to healthy food and nutrition education. Farm Explorer™~ Our Unique Approach Research has shown that children are more inclined to try fruits and vegetables when they’ve participated in growing or helped to cook them. In a typical Farm Explorer™ visit, students may harvest fresh basil, learn how a sprouted garlic bulb can be planted to grow new garlic, prepare a fresh batch of basil pesto using our pedal-powered blender bike, and then taste their creation with fellow classmates. With the Farm Explorer™, farm-to-table programming is taken to an entirely new level, as children gain a deeper understanding of how food is grown, how nutrient-dense fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables are part of a healthy diet, and how fun (and delicious!) healthful eating can be. “I just wanted to tell you that my daughter Chloe absolutely loves the Farm Explorer visits! She has it written on her calendar and counts the days until it visits. Thank you for this great program!”

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Board Chair Michael Tierney, Esq. Vice-Chair Cristina Hug Vice-Chair Jay Devine Treasurer Steve Bowen Secretary Joanne Crozier Banny Ackerman Elisabeth Cooke Patrick Feury Kathleen Gounaris Topper Ray Eilise Rouse Pat South Nancy Spears Anthony Stevenson Mark Ward Jim Wiley Jim Zdancewicz

From our Founder/Executive Director The Farm Explorer™ program was created to address the growing concern of childhood obesity and a genuine lack of connection to where food comes from. For years, school gardens have been the leading tool in engaging youth on these issues, yet, the majority of school-based gardens fail within two years. Why? They lack the dedicated team with expertise to oversee the gardens throughout the summer, and more importantly they lack exciting programs that bring the garden to life and inspire youth to get their hands dirty and enjoy the wonder of growing and eating fresh food. As a regional leader in farm-to-school and farm-based programming, we saw a tremendous opportunity to change the game. Thus, about a year and a half ago, the vision of the Farm Explorer™ was born. Our intention was to use the current “age of mobility” as inspiration to create a dynamic way of engaging children. As we drafted and refined our designs to create a “farm-on-wheels”, three key words were considered: innovation, efficiency, and impact. Innovation is about finding new ways to improve people’s lives and inspire healthy eating. Efficiency was our framework to ensure the program could be nimble and mobile to reach various schools and venues in the greater Philadelphia region. Impact was also top of mind for us, to ensure we were thinking intentionally about how we could collaborate with other organizations in a shared commitment to improving health for our children in our region. So what have we done since the Farm Explorer™ launched last April? We spent the last 12 months working closely with Independence Blue Cross Foundation, Junior League Philadelphia and other great partners to deliver the program, measure our results, validate the model, and prepare to scale for further impact within the region. Personally, I am simply amazed at the tremendous impact this program has had in its first year. As I reflect about WHY the program has succeeded, a few thoughts come to mind. The Farm Explorer™ encompasses the best that Greener Partners has to offer: passionate farmers and educators committed to improving our region’s quality of life through access to healthy food. The Farm Explorer™ leverages the talents of our team to create an authentic and inspiring experience for children and adults alike. If someone had told me a year ago all that the Farm Explorer™ program would accomplish in this initial year, I would not have believed it. But while these accomplishments are worth reflecting on to give a moment of praise, we also see a responsibility to leverage this program’s effectiveness to grow and reach more children in our region. We are proud to be a small participant in making greater Philadelphia a healthier place for us to raise our children and I sincerely thank all of our great supporters for believing in us, as demonstrated in your generous support.

Follow Us! Farm_Explorer

Jason Ingle

Farm Explorer™ Philadelphia

Deepening our Impact in the City of Brotherly Love By the fall of 2014, Greener Partners will have a second Farm Explorer™ on the ground to serve our region. Farm Explorer™ Philadelphia will be stationed at Greener Partners’ urban farm hub that overlooks City Hall and the city skyline at Guild House West in North Philadelphia. A sleeker, smaller unit, Farm Explorer™ Philadelphia will be streamlined to accommodate urban settings, enabling us to increase our programmatic outreach to high-need schools in Philadelphia. Greener Partners has already secured $150,000 towards this expansion from a few generous supporters, an exciting accomplishment and testament for the quality of programming Farm Explorer™ provides.

Our Goals for Farm Explorer™ Philadelphia Include: • Partnering with 20 additional schools and community centers in the city of Philadelphia by the end of 2014. • Reaching an additional 5,000 to 7,500 urban school students in the first year. • Teaching and inspiring children ages 5-18 about the benefits of healthy eating, with an emphasis on increased consumption of seasonal fruits and vegetables. • Broadening our scope in underserved communities by partnering with other regional leaders including The Food Trust, SHARE, and Philabundance to incorporate Farm Explorer™ visits into existing food access programs. • Increasing our outreach to serve low-income adults, families and seniors in Philadelphia, by visiting farmers markets and residential community centers, because everyone, regardless of age, income and demographic can benefit from our innovative approach to healthy food inspiration!


We’re asking our donors, members and friends to help us raise an additional $50,000 in support of our expansion in the city of Philadelphia. Your support will enable us to reach an additional 5,000-7,500 students in high-need schools.

HELP US REACH OUR GOAL! DONATE BY MAIL: Greener Partners/Development Office 690 Sugartown Rd. Malvern, PA 19355 DONATE ONLINE: Joanne McGeoch: Director of Development 610.513.2054

Greener Partners 690 Sugartown Road Malvern, PA 19355 Forwarding address and correction requested


Just the Facts....

16 Million U.S. children live in homes without access to nutritious foods.

1 in 3 children in PA are overweight or obese.

HEALTHY EATING Healthy eating is associated with reduced risk for many diseases including several of the leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes.

The US Department of Education recommends that elementary schools provide at least 50 hours of nutrition education per year to impact children’s eating behavior. However, students are receiving an average of less than 3 hours of nutrition education annually.

Inthethe last 30 years percentage of obese youth has increased by 3 times.

An African-American or Hispanic girl born since 2000 has a 1 in 2 life-time risk of being diagnosed with diabetes.

Statistics and information gathered from Feeding America; CDC; and The State of Nutrition and Physical Education in our schools report (2004)

Printed on recycled paper

Greener Partners Educators (from left) Rania Campbell-Cobb, Jonathan Hamm, Meg MacCurtin & Helen Nadel

Farm Explorer™ Philadelphia ~ 2014  
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