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Dole Packaged Foods recently teamed up with Bashas’ and Food City supermarkets to bring a learning garden to two Arizona elementary schools — and they are looking for nominees.

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Now through Feb. 12, Arizona residents can fill out an application online to nominate their favorite K–5 school in the state (located within a 10-mile distance of a Bashas’ or Food City grocery store) for a chance to receive a learning garden.

Two elementary schools will receive a comprehensive Captain Planet Foundation Learning Garden, valued at $3,000. The Learning Garden comes complete with lesson kits, supplies to establish a schoolyard garden, a fully equipped garden cooking cart, and strategies for garden maintenance. If the school already has a garden, it is still eligible to be entered for a chance to win a garden expansion package.

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“By partnering with Captain Planet Foundation and Bashas’ and Food City grocery stores to grant these learning gardens to Arizona elementary schools, we are helping students to learn about and develop healthy habits,” said Marty Ordman, spokesman for Dole Packaged Foods.

The Learning Garden program provides a context for multidisciplinary learning, ranging from nutrition and science to social studies, math and language arts. Students benefit by expanding their palates, taste-testing healthy foods, and learning about food origins.

“Anything can be taught in the context of the garden, and hands-on learning supports students’ understanding of food and healthy eating,” said Leesa Carter, executive director of Captain Planet Foundation. “Captain Planet Foundation is dedicated to nurturing the next generation of environmental stewards, and ensuring they are equipped with an understanding of the natural world in which they live. We are thrilled to be working with Dole, Bashas’ and Food City to provide two lucky elementary schools in Arizona with a learning garden.”

Applications can be found at bashas.com or captainplanetfoundation.org. The two elementary schools selected to receive learning gardens will be notified at the end of February and announced in March.

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