Fifty Milwaukee-area daycare centers are getting a head start on teaching their kids healthy eating habits, thanks to tomato gardens donated to the centers by Growing Power.
“We want to instill healthy eating habits in these kids when they’re young,” said Will Allen, founder and chief executive officer of Milwaukee-based Growing Power, a nonprofit that seeks to create sustainable community food systems. “If you can get them thinking about it when they’re young, those habits last a lifetime.”
About five Growing Power representatives, including Allen, installed gardens at all daycare centers beginning in June. The first garden was completed at the Open Doors Learning Center, located at 8301 W. Silver Spring Dr. in Milwaukee, near Growing Power’s urban farm on Silver Spring Drive.
The last garden was completed by July 9.
Each daycare recipient is a licensed or certified daycare located in Milwaukee, and many of the selected centers work with underserved children who struggle with access to nutritious, chemical-free food.
Along with donating Cherry and Roma tomato plants, Growing Power donated compost from the nonprofit organization’s own supply.
Kids will play an instrumental role in maintaining the gardens, helping to water the tomatoes throughout the summer, and will learn about nutrition in the process.
Growing Power aims to provide tomato gardens to additional daycare centers throughout Milwaukee next summer.