Project Learning Garden with Kids

Planting Seeds for Success: Enter to Win the Project Learning Garden Contest

Healthy eating is more than just a set of individual actions; it’s a way of life.

At Heinen’s, we believe that this starts with knowing exactly where our food comes from. Through partnering with local farmers and forming relationships with national and international growers, producers and artisans, we have taken the guess work out of grocery shopping.

In 2018, our commitment to promoting healthy lifestyles expanded when we partnered with Dole and the Captain Planet Foundation to share the message of hands-on healthy eating by bringing two local elementary schools their own state-of-the-art learning garden. We are thrilled to be working with them again as we kick off our 2nd annual Project Learning Garden contest.

Kids Planting with Hands

Dole and the Captain Planet Foundation share in our belief that developing healthy eating habits begins long before you are grocery shopping for yourself and your family. It’s a lifelong process that starts in childhood as we are discovering and expanding our tastes and palates.

Our partnership brings this belief to life through the Project Learning Garden contest. Beginning on August 27, 2019, Cleveland and Chicago elementary schools, or accredited after-school child care facilities, can enter to win a Captain Planet Foundation Learning Garden complete with garden beds, gardening and lesson supplies and a fully equipped mobile cooking cart, among other tools for a one-of-a-kind hands-on learning experience.

Project Learning Garden at Cleveland School

Project Learning Garden was created in 2011 as a multi-disciplinary nutrition education-based initiative under the leadership of the Captain Planet Foundation, an organization that advocates for today’s youth becoming great agents of change. The Captain Planet Foundation saw a need to develop a well-rounded program that allowed children to learn the importance of healthy eating using all five senses. Their learning gardens take lessons of healthy eating outside of the classroom by providing students and teacher’s materials for growing, cooking, tasting and learning about healthy foods, which results in expanded palates and a strong foundation for healthy eating.

Dole’s commitment to promoting healthy eating in local communities, through their famously-delicious fruits and veggies, makes their partnership with the Captain Planet Foundation the ideal Project Learning Garden team. Since the launch of their partnership, Dole and the Captain Planet Foundation have gifted more than 106 learning gardens to elementary schools nationwide.

Of those 106 learning gardens, two reside at local Cleveland elementary schools as a result of our first contest in 2018. We worked with Dole and Captain Planet Foundation to help the students of each winning school install and open their garden with a harvest celebration where students, faculty, corporate representatives and city officials planted the first vegetable seeds and tasted a delicious homegrown salad. Today, the gardens are thriving as students, teachers and parents tend to the growing plants both in and outside of school hours.

Over the last year, these students have used their gardens to support curriculum topics beyond hands-on healthy eating such as weather patterns, geometry and biology, proving to use that the avenues for learning are simply endless.

Learning Garden at Cleveland School

We’re excited to be joining the team for a second year to help bring Project Learning Garden to more Cleveland and Chicago neighborhoods. Help us give local children a strong foundation in healthy eating by entering your school into the Project Learning Garden Contest.

Interested in entering to win a Learning Garden for your school? Here’s what you need to know:

Who can enter?
All schools (K-5), or accredited after-school child care facilities in Ohio or Illinois and in the service area of Heinen’s Grocery Store.

*Excludes home school and online schooling programs
*Entrants must be 18 years or older and an official or affiliate of the school.

Where to enter:

Visit to submit your online entry.

When to enter:
The contest will run from Tuesday, August 27, 2019 – Monday, September,30 2019.

*Finalists will be announced in October 2019,  followed by the announcement of winners in November 2019. Learning Gardens will be installed in the spring of 2020.

How many entries can I submit?
Limit one (1) entry per school or accredited after-school child care facility.

*Full contest rules and details are listed here.


  1. Greetings, colleagues at Heinen’s,

    I’ve lived on the East Side of Cleveland for 25 years
    when I moved here to begin teaching at CWRU.

    I have always shopped at Heinen’s because everything
    is so fresh: meat, produce, etc.

    I’m very interested in your PLANTING SEEDS FOR SUCCESS
    several of my colleagues and I in the Department of Modern
    Languages & Literatures are very committed to the SLOW FOOD

    Last September, 8 of us travelled with 10 of our language majors to
    Torino, Italy to attend the biennial TERRA MADRE SUMMIT (celebrating
    the global movement of SLOW FOOD). It was there that I heard the
    legendary Alice Waters speak about the schoolyard gardens that she
    established in Berkeley years ago.

    I returned to Cleveland thinking that this would be a fabulous idea, especially
    in the Latino/a and African American neighborhoods, as their access to healthy
    foods is somewhat limited.

    There is SLOW FOOD student organization at CWRU and I am certain that they
    would love to help you with this beautiful initiative. My colleague in Italian,
    Denise Cateranacci , is the faculty advisor for the group, but I am very involved
    and committed.

    I hope that CWRU can collaborate with you on PROJECT LEARNING GARDEN.

    1. Hi Jacqueline, Thank you for your question. We are thrilled to hear of your interest in our Project Learning Garden Initiative. To learn more about ways to get involved, we recommend reaching out to Dole Packaged Foods as they are the facilitator that we partner with for this initiative. They can be reached at 1-800-356-3111. Thank you.

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