Washington’s First Lady Trudi Inslee visited DeLong Elementary School in Tacoma yesterday to announce $48,000 in grants to 24 different schools and organizations across the state.

The grants, funded in collaboration with the United Health Foundation and Whole Kids Foundation, will help schools create or expand vegetable gardens or beehives and provide additional environmental educational resources.

(Left to Right) Nona Evans, president and executive director of Whole Kids Foundation; Washington State Representative Laurie Jinkins; Washington First Lady Trudi Inslee; Claire Verity, CEO, UnitedHealthcare in the Pacific Northwest. Photo courtesy United Health Foundation.

“Magic happens when a child plants a seed that grows into something natural and healthy to eat,” said Nona Evans, president and executive director of Whole Kids Foundation. “These grants will help give many children the opportunity to grow their own nutritious food, and this experience will shape healthy eating choices for the rest of their lives.”

The following South Sound groups received grants:

  • Bryant Montessori – Tacoma
  • Chloe Clark Elementary – DuPont
  • DeLong Elementary – Tacoma
  • Discovery Primary School – Milton
  • Eatonville School District – Eatonville
  • Families Inspiring Leaders Academy – Tacoma
  • Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group – Belfair
  • The Des Moines Area Food Bank – Des Moines
  • Hands-On Personal Empowerment – Shelton
  • South King County Food Coalition – Des Moines

“Food insecurity, including food deserts, obesity and diabetes are serious health concerns that can be alleviated through better awareness and familiarity with growing and preparing healthy meals,” said Claire Verity, UnitedHealthcare Pacific Northwest States CEO. “On behalf of United Health Foundation, we are grateful for the opportunity to support these organizations instilling healthy habits and setting students on the path to success.”