Our Roots

New Zealand born Bryce Winton Brown was a management consultant for hospitals and became troubled by the number of children with health issues and rising environmental concerns. Inspired to help empower kids, he crafted a vision that would become a district wide program supporting education, healthy eating and the environment. Starting with one elementary school community, he began to explore how to improve school food and enrich educational experiences through onsite gardens. Soon a movement was born engaging teachers, students, parents and the local community in a common purpose.

Through the efforts of many, two initiatives have been developed: the School Food Project and the Garden to Table program. Thanks to school and community support children benefit from our Garden to Table program. This program includes individualized Pre-K through 5th grade standard based curriculum lesson plans for the schools to foster hands-on learning, access and support to healthy eating habits, and environment stewardship. Since 2006, the Growe Foundation has been committed to using experiential gardens as a teaching tool to educate children about the benefits of healthy eating and environmental stewardship. Our vision is to unite people around a shared goal of creating healthier children, schools, communities and the planet.

The Challenge

Across the country the health of children and the ecosystems they depend upon for life are in trouble. A lack of knowledge about food choice and nutrition is resulting in under-nutrition, obesity and a host of chronic diseases. Children exposed to food additives, pesticides and chemicals in their environment are suffering from allergies, endocrine disorders, learning difficulties and cancers. As far back as 2011…

  1. Education- 98% of the $2 billion in food and beverage advertisements viewed by children are for products that are high in fat, sugar or sodium.
  2. Eating- 31% of BVSD middle school student are trying to lose weight. 26% of US children suffer from some form of chronic disease or health problem.
  3. Environment- In addition to environmental chemicals, 1.2 billion pounds of pesticides are used each year that contribute to neurocognitive disorders, chronic disease, and the destruction of ecosystems.

Our Solution

Education comes in many different forms throughout a child’s life and Growe believes that experiential learning is crucial to shaping children’s understanding, values and behavior. By providing children with engaging educational experiences that connect them to food, how it’s grown and why fruits and vegetables are essential to their diet, we aim to address the childhood health issues and the environmental problems facing society.

  1. Education– We provide schools with experiential learning programs that enrich education and teach students about food and the environment.
  2. Eating– We support children to understand the importance of fruits and vegetables and the connection between what they eat and the health of their body.
  3. Environment– We support children to understand how the health of their bodies is linked to the health of the planet.