Austin, TX—Whole Kids Foundation has launched its annual monthlong Growing Healthy Kids campaign to fund K-12 school programs in the U.S., U.K., and Canada that connect kids to real food,according to a press release.

For this year’s campaign, all Whole Foods Market locations will match register donations up to $1 million through September 17.

To date, the programs supported by the Foundation have served more than 7.2 million children and nearly 12,000 schools. This round will support an additional 575,000 students through grants for local schools and nonprofits.
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Applications forGardenandBee Grantsare being accepted now through October 15.

This year’s campaign goal is to raise $3.4 million to fund an estimated 500 edible learning gardens, 400 salad bars in schools, and 100 new educational beehives, and to support healthy teacher and staff programs. The release notes that studies show that schools can influence healthy eating behaviors, and that healthy students perform better in terms of academic performance and cognitive skills.

Nona Evans, president and executive director of Whole Kid Foundation, said in the release: “During the annual Growing Healthy Kids Campaign, millions of donors make small contributions while shopping. Those gestures add up to millions of dollars that make our work possible. Add to that the generous support of supplier partners and Whole Foods Market, and we are truly able to grow a next generation of healthy eaters.”

Whole Foods Market’s suppliers are chipping in, contributing more than $1.2 million. Lead sponsors include Annie’s, Honest Kids, Horizon Organic, Stonyfield Organic, and Tom’s of Maine. Core sponsors include Applegate, Happy Family Organics, Hippeas, KIND Snacks, Once Upon a Farm, Orgain, and Organic Valley.