Hy-Vee Inc. announced that they have awarded 156 One Step Garden Grants totaling $156,000 to community organizations and Hy-Vee stores as part of the Hy-Vee One Step program.

The $1,000 grants will be used to purchase seeds, plants, garden tools and food preservation equipment for community gardens. These grants are given to community gardens that teach those in need about health and nutrition through the process of planting, tending and harvesting their own fruits and vegetables.

The program uses a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Earth-friendly, everyday products to benefit local and worldwide charitable causes. The products include a 5-pound bag of russet potatoes, shredded wheat cereal, paper towels, facial tissue, bath tissue, napkins and bottled water. Sales of One Step Russet Potatoes fund the One Step Garden Grants; for each bag a customer purchases, 5 cents goes toward funding the community garden grants.

Community groups and organizations applied online for the grants, and their applications were judged based on demonstrated participation of community stakeholders; consideration of challenges that come with maintaining a community garden; the integration of the garden into the community; and intended use of the garden’s produce.

With this year’s recipients included, Hy-Vee has awarded 740 garden grants since 2013. Overall, the One Step program has donated more than $1.3 million in product sales since its inception in 2011.

The grants were awarded as follows in Minnesota:

  • Austin Hy-Vee, Austin
  • Gage Elementary School, Dodge Center
  • Center for Earth Spirituality and Rural Ministry, Mankato
  • Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota, Mankato
  • New Hope Hy-Vee, New Hope
  • Guardian Angels Food Shelf Garden, Oakdale
  • Owatonna Hy-Vee, Owatonna
  • Shepherd of the Lake Lutheran Church, Prior Lake
  • Parish of Saints Joachim & Anne, Shakopee
  • Two Harbors Area Food Shelf – Marek Fuller Community Garden, Two Harbors
  • Goodview Trinity Lutheran, Winona
Credit: SM