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Hy-Vee Inc. has awarded 130 grants totaling $52,000 to community organizations and its own stores this spring as part of the Hy-Vee One Step program.
The $400 grants will be used to purchase seeds, plants, garden tools and food preservation equipment for community gardens. One Step Garden Grants are given to community gardens that teach those in need about health and nutrition through the process of planting, tending and harvesting their own fruits and vegetables.
Hy-Vee’s One Step program uses a portion of the proceeds from the sale of earth-friendly, everyday products to benefit local and worldwide charitable causes. The products include a 5-pound bag of russet potatoes, shredded wheat cereal, paper towels and bottled water. Sales of One Step Russet Potatoes fund the One Step Garden Grants; for each bag a customer purchases, 5 cents goes toward funding the community garden grants.
“At Hy-Vee, we believe in giving back to our communities. What better way to educate our communities about healthy eating than to help them grow their own produce,” said Jen Kopriva, group VP of private brands. “Health and wellness has long been a cornerstone of our business, and the One Step Garden Grants allow us to take that commitment one step further.”
Community groups or organizations can apply for the grants each year on Hy-Vee’s website. The applications are judged based on demonstrated participation of community stakeholders; consideration of challenges that come with maintaining a community garden; the integration of the garden into the community; and intended use of the garden’s produce.
Hy-Vee has awarded more than 420 garden grants since 2013. Overall, the One Step program has donated more than $730,000 in product sales since its inception in 2011.
West Des Moines, Iowa-based Hy-Vee is an employee-owned corporation operating more than 235 retail stores across eight Midwestern states.