The Valley Educational Gardens Initiative (VEGI) offers community gardening services and education-based programs in the San Luis Valley (SLV). VEGI's mission is to teach people about growing and preparing nutritious food while also donating produce to benefit the Food Bank Network, local school cafeterias, and households. As a non-profit through La Puente Home, Inc., VEGI’s mission is made reality only because of the generous contributions made by foundations, private individuals, and partner programs.
La Puente is grateful to the Safeway Foundation for its recent award of $2,500 that will benefit VEGI's 2017 programming. VEGI will use these funds to offer garden-based camps in Alamosa, in Del Norte through the High Valley Community Center (HVCC), and in the towns of Blanca-Ft. Garland. This grant will make possible the purchasing of curriculum materials needed to run dynamic summer programming that offers youth the chance to dig their hands in the soil, harvest what they have planted, and learn through community the process of growing and preparing healthful foods.
VEGI recognizes each of its supporters and is appreciative of the combined effort it takes to address the "root" causes of local food insecurity. Every dollar donated helps plant a seed that can then flourish into an educational opportunity, a gardening resource, or a fresh vegetable for someone in need. There are many ways to support VEGI- from lending a hand in the community garden to planting a seed with a child to offering financial donations, however, big or small- as it takes a community to raise a garden. VEGI is grateful for those who continue to make this work thrive and would like to acknowledge the spirit of giving that makes it all possible.
- Roughly 3000 pounds of produce was harvested
- Approximately 375 people volunteered in the gardens
- Over 1000 people benefitted from VEGI's educational programs