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Tops, Dole launch Learning Garden contest

Tops Family Markets and Dole Packaged Foods LLC are excited to launch the third annual Learning Garden contest granting two elementary schools in either upstate New York, Vermont or northern Pennsylvania a Captain Planet Foundation Learning Garden. The contest will begin Sunday, Feb. 17 and will run until Saturday, March 16.

Two schools will win a comprehensive Learning Garden complete with lesson kits filled with supplies, a schoolyard garden, fully equipped garden cooking cart, and strategies for summer garden maintenance.

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.

“Dole is very excited to be partnering with Tops Friendly Markets again to bring two lucky schools Learning Gardens. It is so important for children to learn about where their food comes from and develop healthy eating habits at an early age,” said Larry White, vice president of sales for Dole Packaged Foods.

“So many subjects can be taught in the garden and hands-on garden learning is an excellent way to support student understanding of natural systems, food origins, and healthy eating,” said Leesa Carter, president and chief executive officer of Captain Planet Foundation. “Captain Planet Foundation is dedicated to ensuring that kids are armed with an understanding of the natural world in which they live, and we are thrilled to be partnering again with Tops and Dole Packaged Foods to provide two lucky schools in with Project Learning Garden.”

“Tops Friendly Markets is excited to partner with Dole and the Captain Planet Foundation for a third year. We are committed to supporting educational excellence and the hands-on garden and curriculum is an integral part of the conversation when teaching kids learn where their food comes from,” said Diane Colgan, senior vice president of marketing and decision support for Tops Friendly Markets. “We encourage every elementary school to consider entering for their chance at winning this great free resource.”