For eight years running, Whole Foods Market has been a steady supporter of Solid Ground’s nutrition education programs, providing support in a variety of meaningful ways: financial contributions, event sponsorship, in-kind support for cooking classes and volunteer events, and hosting a variety of in-store fundraisers.
Leah Abell, Marketing Associate Coordinator for Whole Foods Market’s Pacific Northwest Region, explains why this partnership is such a good fit:
“Whole Foods Market and its foundations are working to increase access to and consumption of healthier foods in schools, to inspire families to prepare and share these foods at home, and to encourage community action that supports healthier kids and families. Our mission and values align with Solid Ground’s nutrition education programs, because we believe everyone should have access to fresh and nutritious food, and healthy eating education. We look to build collaborative partnerships with like-minded local organizations that are making a significant impact in the neighborhoods where we do business. Solid Ground is one of those organizations.”
Multi-faceted, long-term support
For many years, Whole Foods Market donated much of the produce for Solid Ground’s Cooking Matters 6-week cooking and nutrition class series for adults, kids and families – providing both the food needed for use during class demonstrations, and also the groceries class participants got to take home to try out the recipes they learned. That’s a lot of food over the course of years!
Whole Foods Market also provided event sponsorship for major Solid Ground events for several years – including our former Chefs Night Out event and the annual Building Community Luncheon. In addition, Solid Ground has been beneficiary of many in-store Whole Foods Market fundraisers including:
- Community Giving Days: 5% of a day’s net sales donated to Solid Ground.
- Taste of Thanksgiving: Shoppers sampled Whole Foods Market’s Thanksgiving menu for a $5 donation to Solid Ground.
- Bag Hunger: Shoppers donated groceries throughout the holiday season to support Solid Ground.
- Bag Refund program: Guests claimed a 10-cent deduction off their grocery bill each time they reused a bag – or they could choose to apply their refund to featured nonprofits. (In 2016, this raised more than $6,600 for Solid Ground!)
Community First Initiative
In 2014, Whole Foods Market launched the Whole Cities Foundation “to improve individual and community health through collaborative partnerships, education, and broader access to nutritious food in the communities these partner organizations serve.” Last year, the Foundation introduced the Community First Grant Program, designed to support Whole Foods Market Team Members who are actively engaged with community partners that align with the foundation’s mission.
Leah says, “Because of my own positive experience working with Solid Ground, I immediately raised my hand for this opportunity. I completed a Community First Application, Solid Ground was selected, and a project was funded for $5,000.” Funds from this grant were used to supply cook kits for the Cooking Matters program, and contributed to much-needed stipends for Solid Ground’s nutrition education AmeriCorps members, supporting our Apple Corps, Cooking Matters and Lettuce Link programs.
‘Inside Whole Foods Market’ tours
This year, Whole Foods Market is partnering with Solid Ground to produce “Inside Whole Foods Market” tours. Leah says, “Our stores are a fantastic vehicle for that partnership. These tours offer attendees an opportunity to learn more about Whole Foods Market – our products, our quality standards, our value – all the while discovering useful tips and tricks from the educators at Solid Ground. It’s a win-win for sure!” Proceeds from these tours also support Solid Ground’s food and nutrition education programs. To schedule a tour for your group of five to 12 people, contact Erika Deianni at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206.694.6711.
Thank you, Whole Foods Market, for working so creatively with us to build a lasting, valued and healthy partnership!