The 2018 “Union County Kids Dig In” garden grant program for schools in Union County is ready to accept applications. The program is designed to help schools provide enriching educational experiences while encouraging students to give back to the Union County community through donations of fresh produce.

Schools with students in grades pre-K through 12 are eligible to apply for a Union County Kids Dig In grant. The grants are funded through the Union County Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund.

“Union County Kids Dig In received an enthusiastic response when we introduced it last year, and we are looking forward to another season of growing and giving,” said Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados, who initiated the program in 2017. “By growing fresh produce in their own school gardens, our youth gain powerful experiences with real-life issues involving agriculture and the environment, and they also become empowered to give back to the community.”

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“The grant program requires that students donate 30% of the produce they grow to local food pantries, shelters and low income families,” explained Granados. “School gardens bring everyone together in a collaborative effort: students, teachers, school staff, parents and residents in their own neighborhoods.”

Grant application forms have been sent to school superintendents in all Union County school districts. The deadline for submissions is March 14.

Principals and educators who are interested in having their school apply for a grant can contact Victoria Durbin-Drake, Administrator, Office of the Union County Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund at vdurbin@ucnj.org or 908-558-2277.

For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email info@ucnj.org or use the online Contact Form.

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