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The WellSky® Foundation Gifts $200,000 to Pete’s Garden to Fully Fund its Kids Feeding Kids Program


OVERLAND PARK, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb 20, 2024--

The WellSky Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to removing socioeconomic barriers to health and improving the quality of life for vulnerable populations, today announced a donation of $200,000 to Pete’s Garden. Founded in 2020, the organization recovers wholesome surplus prepared and perishable food from local businesses, repackages the food into family-sized meal portions, and distributes the free take-home meals to food-insecure families through various social service organizations.

With the contribution from the WellSky Foundation, Pete's Garden will be able to expand its Kids Feeding Kids program, a unique curriculum aiming to provide a real-world learning module to educate students on the causes of food insecurity while developing their culinary skills. By preparing and distributing healthy meals to vulnerable families within their community, the students also gain a sense of understanding of the root causes of food insecurity and empathy for those facing food insecurity.

“This grant will support scaling up our Kids Feeding Kids program, which recently launched a successful pilot program with a gift from the 15 and Mahomies Foundation,” said Tamara Weber, founder and executive director of Pete’s Garden. “By the end of the WellSky Foundation’s two-year grant period, we expect over 100 teachers to be trained across Kansas and Missouri, extending the program's reach and impact to thousands of high school students who will plan and prepare tens of thousands of meals for families in their communities.”

Someone is food insecure when they don’t have consistent or adequate access to nutritious food. According to a Health Forward Foundation report, nearly one in five households with children under 18 in the Kansas City metro area are food insecure. In 2023, Pete’s Garden recovered over 130,000 pounds of healthy, prepared foods and distributed over 100,000 meals to families in Kansas City.

“Aligned with the WellSky Foundation's mission, this grant will help provide nutritious meals to vulnerable children and families. And by helping more people gain access to wholesome meals, we can enhance the overall well-being of individuals and families in need,” said Brett Fuller, executive director of the WellSky Foundation.

The WellSky Foundation has donated nearly $2 million to 40 organizations since 2019. To learn more about the foundation and its initiatives, please visit wellskyfoundation.org.

About Pete’s Garden

Founded in January 2020, Pete’s Garden makes it easier for families to share healthy meals together at home. Our food recovery operations recover wholesome surplus prepared foods from Kansas City area caterers, restaurants, and food service operations. Volunteers portion and package the surplus food into family-sized meal portions. These take-home meals are distributed free through local social service organizations that serve families with children. Some of the Kansas City area organizations that receive our free meals include Operation Breakthrough, Boys & Girls Club, Jewish Family Services, Avenue of Life, and several other groups.

In addition to food recovery, Pete’s Garden partners with high school culinary arts programs to engage students in preparing take-home meals for families in their communities. This program, Kids Feeding Kids, provides educators with a standards-based food justice and culinary curriculum focused on increasing food access, reducing food insecurity, and raising awareness around food waste's social and environmental impacts. Educators who participate in Kids Feeding Kids receive lesson plans along with all the ingredients and supplies they need to help their students prepare up to 1,000 meal servings that are distributed free to families. Kids Feeding Kids was launched with generous support from Patrick and Brittany Mahomes and their 15 and the Mahomies Foundation. To learn more about Pete’s Garden, visit petesgarden.org.

About WellSky® Foundation

The WellSky Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to improving the quality of life for vulnerable populations by removing social barriers to health, recovery, and lasting wellness. The WellSky Foundation is an engine for change, financially supporting organizations that enable care and healing for people, regardless of their socioeconomic status. With a deep understanding of the social determinants of health, the WellSky Foundation partners with community organizations that are boldly addressing the top four socioeconomic factors affecting long-term wellness — housing, food insecurity, transportation, and isolation. The WellSky Foundation is committed to funding and supporting organizations that protect the people and communities they serve and create better outcomes for people in need. Together with our community partners, the WellSky Foundation is breaking down social barriers to health and wellness to build thriving communities. To learn more about the WellSky Foundation, visit wellskyfoundation.org.

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SOURCE: WellSky Foundation

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PUB: 02/20/2024 09:00 AM/DISC: 02/20/2024 08:59 AM