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Growing Healthy Kids

BasketGirl 2The Orange County Parnership for Young Children/Growing Healthy Kids Project, based in Chapel Hill, NC, is currently maintaining three family based gardens. These gardens serve 38 predominantly low-income, Latino and Burmese immigrant families, with over 75 children. 

The programs focus on early childhood education, child health care, early intervention physical activity and nutrition, parenting education and family support. Participating families must have at least one child less than six years old, however the children participating in the garden range from infants to teenagers. 

The program incorporates:

Family Garden Plots: participating families plan, plant, maintain, and harvest their 10x10 plot. Famlies are supplied with a variety of seeds for all seasons, but are held accountable for the garden's ultimate success. 

Workdays: Each month, garden staff offer gardening workshops for parents, children's nutrition and environmental/gardening programming, and a group maintenance effort. 

EFNEP Cooking Classes: Expanded Food and Nutrition Program (EFNEP) offers cooking classes to families to teach them how to prepare healthier meals and snacks by incorporating fresh produce. They also learn how to make their food budget last.

Community Events: Families get together for potluck dinners, outings to local attractions, and visits to farmers markets.