UNION COUNTY, NJ - The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders announced the 2019 “Union County Kids Dig In” garden grant program for schools in Union County.

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.

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“Union County Kids Dig In gives young people a chance at hands-on learning and service,” said Freeholder Chair Bette Jane Kowalski. “They learn about organic gardening, soil health, water conservation, and pollinators. Kids Dig In helps kids see how their actions really do make a difference.”

UC Kids Dig In began in 2017 as an initiative of Freeholder Sergio Granados, Chairman of the Trust Fund. Over the past two years, the program has provided funding for 92 school gardens.

“When children are introduced to gardening in the schools, it helps them begin to think holistically about their food, their schools, their larger communities and the health of the planet,” said Freeholder Granados. “UC Kids Dig In teaches kids about growing their own healthy food options and empowers them to help those in need, by donating 30% of their harvest to benefit local food pantries and shelters.” 

Grant application forms have been sent to school superintendents in all Union County school districts. The deadline for submissions is Monday, April 1 at 5:00 p.m.

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.

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