National Launch of eat. learn. live. School Garden Program Makes Gardening Possible in Every School

January 02, 2016

Chartwells K12 and combine nutrition, culinary and gardening expertise to help educators create and sustain school gardens in any environment

CHICAGO, November 10, 2015 – Chartwells K12 and today launched the eat. learn. live. School Garden Program, a first-of-its-kind comprehensive resource to help guide educators through the process of successfully developing, growing and sustaining school gardens regardless of space, climate or resources they may have currently available.

The eat. learn. live. School Garden Program is a detailed garden playbook loaded with instructive and creative gardening tips, nutrition education materials, and guidance for building community garden support. The guide was developed in partnership by Chartwells K12 and, a resource of the National Gardening Association, and brings together an unprecedented combination of gardening, nutrition and culinary expertise through a range of resources to help make impactful school gardens possible in any school

“We know from our experience and our work with that school gardens are powerful settings to teach students about healthy eating and where their food comes from,” said Rhonna Cass, CEO of Chartwells K12. “The launch of the eat. learn. live. School Garden Program helps all schools create gardens as part of our mission to nurture the minds and bodies of a generation of students.”

As part of their exclusive partnership, Chartwells K12 and teamed up earlier this year to support eight pilot school gardens in diverse climates and settings around the country. Learnings from those gardens shaped the eat. learn. live. School Garden Program, including identifying a range of resources that will help make gardening possible in every school.

“Gardens create hubs of experiential learning for school communities and we are thrilled to be able to inspire and support all schools through the eat. learn. live. School Garden Program,” said Jennifer Tedeschi, Executive Director of NGA. “Through the combined expertise of and Chartwells K12 we are able to truly connect students with their food and inspire a love for fresh fruits and vegetables that will last a lifetime.”

In addition to the pilot gardens and the eat. learn. live School Garden Program, Chartwells K12 and have created a wealth of gardening and nutrition educational resources and a Garden 1, 2, 3 quick start guide for those considering starting a garden. The organizations will also host webinars open to the public to walk through sections of the eat. learn. live School Garden Program with detailed expert instruction and Q&A for educators.

The eat. learn. live. School Garden Program also includes strategies for administrators to gather support for a school garden, form a garden committee, craft goals, and integrate the garden into the curriculum of a variety of subjects, such as science, English, math, and history.

To download the eat. learn. live. School Garden Program, Garden 1, 2, 3 quick start guide, and gardening and nutrition educational resources, please visit:
About Chartwells K12
Chartwells K12 provides for more than 600 school districts, ranging from large public institutions to small charter and private schools, all with expansive needs. Chartwells K12 is a culinary-focused organization with a mission to extend its passion, dedication, knowledge and enthusiasm into serving each student delicious and nutritious meals. The company is built on decades of food and education experience and driven by top culinary, nutrition, wellness and sustainability talent. Chartwells K12 is part of Compass Group, an international leader in foodservice management and support services. For more information, visit
About, a resource of the National Gardening Association, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Williston, VT. Its mission is to empower every generation to lead healthier lives, build stronger communities, and encourage environmental stewardship through educational gardening programs. Beginning with 50 youth garden grants in 1982, has delivered more than 10,000 grants and awards, benefiting an estimated 2 million youth gardeners. To learn more and support its efforts, visit