DALLAS, April 13, 2023 — Students throughout Texas will have access to hands-on nutrition education with a $2,500 grant from the American Heart Association’s Teaching Gardens® Network Grant program, helping address healthy eating challenges facing children and families. Access to healthy foods directly impacts a person’s health over their lifetime, but most children are not eating recommended amounts of fruits or vegetables, consuming less than one serving of each per day.

The five locations in Texas include Galveston's Own Farmers Market in Galveston, Hutsell Elementary in Katy, Math Science Technology Magnet in Richardson, Partners for Education, Agriculture and Sustainability (PEAS) in Austin and Sunfield Elementary School in Buda. Including this award, the American Heart Association, a global force for healthier lives for all, with support from CAULIPOWER, makers of ready-to-use veggie-powered food items, has now funded 150 grants over three years to schools and community gardens nationwide. The financial grants boost garden-based learning, helping enable equitable access to healthy foods and innovative nutrition education across the country. 

Students and instructors will have access to the Teaching Gardens curriculum to inspire innovation and develop new strategies for improving access to healthy food for students and families. Through the Association’s Teaching Gardens Network, part of its Teaching Gardens® program, schools and community gardens turn the outdoors into a classroom with interactive nutrition curriculum to help kids make healthy food choices and build positive, lifelong nutrition habits.

“It’s critical that all kids have access to fresh fruits and vegetables and to proper nutrition education regardless of where they live to support growth and create a strong foundation for a healthy life,” said Michelle Albert, M.D., MPH, FACC, FAHA, volunteer president of the American Heart Association, professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) and Admissions Dean for UCSF Medical School. “We had the difficult task of selecting just 50 awardees out of nearly 250 applicants this year. Congratulations to all of the grant recipients and thank you for your commitment to supporting healthy kids by building healthier communities.”

“These gardens are innovative, outdoor laboratories where kids can learn the benefits of healthy eating,” said Gail Becker, Founder of CAULIPOWER. “School and community gardens are essential spaces to cultivate fresh produce and learn about the magic of vegetables. CAULIPOWER couldn’t be more proud to have supported this vital health initiative since Day One.”

“Without proper nutrition education, the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease risk factors increases earlier in life and leads to a higher risk of heart disease and stroke in adulthood,” said Austin Executive Director Vanessa Maldonado. “These gardens are a great addition to the Teaching Gardens Network nationwide and will continue to make a meaningful impact in the health of our community for years to come.”

According to the Association’s Heart Disease and Stroke 2023 Statistical Update, it's estimated that children and teens consume less than 1 serving of fruits or vegetables per day, which puts them at higher risk of cardiovascular risk factors, such as childhood diabetes and high blood pressure. Developing cardiovascular risk factors early in life exponentially increases a child’s risk of heart disease and stroke in adulthood.


About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.orgFacebookTwitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.   

For Media Inquiries:

Megan Jameson: 512-338-2639megan.jameson@heart.org
For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)
heart.org and stroke.org