HonorHealth and Sprouts Build Learning Garden for Kids

A sea of purple and green shirts transformed a portion of Desert View Elementary’s school yard into a $30,000 outdoor learning lab

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Nov. 9, 2019) – HonorHealth, a leading Valley healthcare system serving 1.6 million people in the greater Phoenix area, teamed up with The Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation, a charitable arm of Sprouts Farmers Market, on Saturday, Nov. 9 to build a learning garden for students at Desert View Elementary School in Phoenix.

The garden build was part of Sprouts’ Day of Service, an annual volunteer day consisting of 40 events from coast to coast, and marked HonorHealth’s inaugural Ambassador Give Back Day, an employee-driven volunteer initiative with several community events taking place simultaneously throughout the Valley.

Nearly 100 volunteers from HonorHealth and Sprouts spent the day transforming a portion of the school’s school yard into an outdoor learning lab, complete with garden beds, plants and interactive learning features. HonorHealth and Sprouts each contributed $5,000 to cover costs for the project. Sprouts invested an additional $20,000 to have Fort Worth-based Out Teach bring their state-of-the-art, project-based learning model to the project, which focuses on the subjects of nutrition, math, science and language arts. More than half of the materials for the garden were sourced from local Sunnyslope small businesses, including Preach Landscape and Building Supply and Heldt Lumber.

Students at Desert View Elementary will begin using the new learning garden immediately, while teachers and staff work with the nutrition outreach team at HonorHealth Desert Mission Food Bank to adopt and incorporate an evidence-based nutrition and garden curriculum for the classroom.

“Connecting Desert View Elementary and HonorHealth with Out Teach is what the Foundation is all about,” said Lyndsey Waugh, Executive Director of the Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation. “Our work with nonprofits like Out Teach across the country has provided schools, children, and families new opportunities to explore hands-on nutrition education outdoors to support a healthy future for everyone.”

“As a nonprofit, community-based hospital system, HonorHealth is committed to the health and wellbeing of the communities we serve, including our John C. Lincoln Medical Center neighbors at Desert View Elementary,” HonorHealth Vice President of Government & Community Affairs Michelle Pabis said. “We’re also proud to be one of only a few health systems in the U.S. with its own food bank and Snack Pack programs for schools. We are steadfast in our commitment to increasing access to fresh produce and healthy nutritional choices."

Both HonorHealth and Sprouts came together with a common goal of promoting health and nutrition in the community, with a specific focus of increasing access to fresh, nutritious food. HonorHealth has long held the stance that food is the best medicine and by teaching children the importance of nutrition at an early age, the more likely they will grow up to live healthy lives. In addition to improving quality of life, health and nutrition have been shown to promote effective learning, which is especially important in underserved regions, where young students don’t always have the resources necessary to succeed.

HonorHealth Desert Mission Food Bank currently serves a number of children at Desert View Elementary through its Snack Pack program, which provides Valley schools with weekly bags of nutritious, kid-friendly food – ensuring the students have enough food to eat over the weekends. Those students currently enrolled in the program at Desert View Elementary will also be eligible to participate in an upcoming pilot program offering “Fresh” Snack Packs, which will include current menu items along with fresh fruits and vegetables.

About HonorHealth: HonorHealth is a non-profit, local community healthcare system serving an area of 1.6 million people in the greater Phoenix area. The network encompasses five acute-care hospitals, an extensive medical group, outpatient surgery centers, a cancer care network, clinical research, medical education, a foundation and community services with approximately 12,300 employees, 3,700 affiliated physicians and 3,100 volunteers. HonorHealth was formed by a merger between Scottsdale Healthcare and John C. Lincoln Health Network. HonorHealth’s mission is to improve the health and well-being of those we serve. Learn more at HonorHealth.com.

About Sprouts Farmers Market: Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc., one of the fastest-growing retailers in the country, has made healthy living accessible to shoppers for nearly two decades by offering affordable, fresh, natural and organic products. True to its farmers market heritage, Sprouts is known for pioneering its unique grocery model by offering a welcoming store layout featuring fresh produce at the center of the store, an expansive bulk foods section, and a vitamin department focused on overall wellness. Sprouts also offers a unique assortment of healthier products with special attributes, such as plant-based, gluten-free, keto-friendly, and grass-fed, to meet the growing and diverse needs of today’s consumer. Headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., Sprouts employs more than 30,000 team members and operates approximately 340 stores in 22 states from coast to coast. Visit about.sprouts.com for more information.