SACRAMENTO, Calif. // PRNewswire-FirstCall // -- Jamba Juice and the National Gardening Association (NGA) today announced a fun, easy way for schools and communities to support nutrition education through gardening and the planting of fruit trees. The multi-faceted partnership is designed to provide year-round funding for gardens, create school fruit tree planting grants, support nutrition education and encourage community service.
The announcement was made at an event in Sacramento, California with First Lady Maria Shriver marking the one-year anniversary of the State Capitol's WE Garden. She was joined by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, Jamba Juice Company President and CEO, James D White, along with Jamba Juice team members, community leaders and school children, all coming together to garden and plant fruit trees on the Capitol grounds. The anniversary celebration set the stage for announcing the first set of Jamba fruit tree grants to schools in the Sacramento region.
"WE Garden is all about bringing communities together to promote a stronger, healthier California," said California's First Lady Maria Shriver. "This new partnership between Jamba Juice and the National Gardening Association will provide ongoing funding for school gardens and establish grants to plant fruit trees. I applaud their work to support California's WE Garden program and help take our message to schools across the nation."
The Jamba Juice-NGA program announced today builds on Jamba's longtime commitment to supporting schools and communities by promoting health, wellness and physical activities. The new program will focus on four core elements: gardening, fruit tree plantings, nutrition education and volunteerism. The goal is to grow the program by registering schools and community gardens, creating a movement that positively impacts youth and influences health, wellness and sustainability.
"Jamba Juice is proud to announce this innovative program that will provide continuous, year-round resources for schools and communities to support gardening and nutrition education," said Mr. White. "We are so appreciative of First Lady Maria Shriver's leadership and support of our fruit tree grants program which will help teach students the importance of fruit and good nutrition in their daily lives. Jamba cares about schools, communities and kids and we are proud to do our part to support them."
Key components of the Jamba Juice –National Gardening Association program include:
Sip to Support A Garden™: Schools and garden organizations that sign up and register for the Sip to Support A Garden program will have the ability to earn year-round funding for their gardens through Jamba's Community Appreciation Card. Participation is simple: Sign up a school garden or organization on-line; the organization will receive a Jamba-Kit that includes swipe cards for supporters, program details and other information; Start swiping -- each time a supporter uses the swipe card for purchases at participating Jamba Juice locations, Jamba will donate 12% of the purchase to support gardens. 10% will be donated directly back to the garden organization and 2% will be donated to support school fruit tree grants administered by the NGA.
It's All About the Fruit™ Grants: Jamba Juice and the NGA are creating the It's All About the Fruit competitive grants program where schools can apply and compete for $500 fruit tree planting grants to create long-term sustainable solutions and resources for schools and communities. To kick off the grant program, Jamba and NGA announced that the first grants are being awarded to five schools in the Sacramento City Unified School District: Oak Ridge Elementary School, Bowling Green K-6 School, Leonardo Da Vinci K-8 School, Will C. Wood Middle School, and Rosa Parks Middle School. Each school will receive a $500 It's All About the Fruit grant to plant fruit trees on their school campuses. Superintendent Jonathan Raymond was present at the Sacramento event to accept the grants along with students from the schools. The first round of grant applications will be accepted in September 2010 with application requirements announced in July.
Nutrition Education: One of the core components of the Jamba-NGA program is to encourage more gardening and fruit tree plantings in schools to promote health, wellness and nutrition education. Jamba and NGA will work in collaboration with school partners to utilize gardening lesson plans and develop new curriculum specific to fruit tree plantings. Through the program, resources will be developed to keep the program focused on learning while encouraging fun, simple ways to inspire nutrition and health.
Community Service: Jamba Juice is passionate about giving back to communities and supporting the gardening initiative through the help of team members all across the nation. Jamba will provide team members with the opportunity to conduct 15,000 volunteer hours of community service and involvement in helping schools build and maintain their gardens, help plant fruit trees or focus on other important programs that help build stronger communities. Jamba is partnering with California Volunteers to find volunteer opportunities for Jamba team members.
"The National Gardening Association is proud to work with a fun, innovative company like Jamba Juice to launch this nationwide program to support gardening and fruit trees," said NGA President Mike Metallo. "By providing year-round financial resources to participating groups, Jamba is really helping ensure long-term, sustainable garden programs in our schools and communities that will reach students and have a lasting, positive impact in their lives."
Gardening has many tangible rewards for people of all ages, serving as a source of fresh and nutritious foods and is an enjoyable way to get active. On average, gardening activity burns between 250 and 500 calories an hour. For children, there's a great deal of research indicating that gardening also helps them achieve higher test scores; connect to the environment; develop social skills; and improve their attention, focus, and self-esteem.
Jamba, Inc. (Nasdaq: JMBA) is a holding company and through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Jamba Juice Company, owns and franchises JAMBA JUICE® stores. Founded in 1990, Jamba Juice is a leading restaurant retailer of better-for-you food and beverage offerings, including great tasting fruit smoothies, juices, and teas, hot oatmeal made with organic steel cut oats, wraps, salads, sandwiches, and California Flatbreads™, and a variety of baked goods and snacks. As of December 29, 2009, Jamba Juice had 739 locations consisting of 478 company-owned and operated stores and 261 franchise stores.
About the National Gardening Association: For more than 35 years, the National Gardening Association (NGA) has been working to renew and sustain the essential connection between people, plants, and the environment. As a nonprofit leader in plant-based education, our vision is to make available free educational plant-based materials, grants, and resources that speak to young minds, educators, youth and community organizations, and the general gardening public in five core areas; education, health and wellness, environmental stewardship, community development, and home gardening.
About WE Garden in Capitol Park: Building on her continuing commitment to the creation of edible school gardens as a learning experience for children and the important role of food, First Lady Maria Shriver planted the first edible garden at the California State Capitol grounds in May 2009. "WE Garden in Capitol Park" serves as a way to educate and inspire Californians about the important lessons gardens teach students, children and people of all ages, lessons rooted in nutrition, healthy living, agriculture, science, history and service. Particularly, the WE Garden project provides ample hands-on educational experiences for the hundreds of school children that visit the Capitol each year, through the creation of a series of eleven individual lesson plans to provide for ongoing instruction.
SOURCE Jamba Juice