Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi's New Giving Through Growing Program Pledges Support to Food Banks Across America
LODI, Calif., May 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Building on three successful years of supporting local communities through gardening programs, this summer, Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi kicks off the growing season with its fourth edition of Giving through Growing (GTG) - a collaboration with the American Community Gardening Association (ACGA) dedicated to developing and enriching communities through the gardening of fresh foods. This year's program, supported by a pledge of $55,000, will create five Woodbridge "Giving Gardens" designed to increase fresh, seasonal produce donations to food banks in Atlanta, GA, Dallas, TX, Los Angeles, CA, Miami, FL, and New York, New York. Top Chef alum and Pretty Delicious author Candice Kumai, GTG National Ambassador, will visit each city to lend her green thumb and teach consumers how to transform garden bounty in to simple, flavorful meals.
The new focus on food bank donations mirrors the efforts at Woodbridge winery's own "Giving Garden," which donates its entire harvest to the Stockton Emergency Food Bank in San Joaquin County, California. In 2010, Woodbridge's first harvest proved that important change can happen with limited real-estate: 8 raised beds, totaling less than 1,000 square feet, yielded 3,000 lbs of produce. In addition, the Woodbridge tasting room and employee food drives helped spur 2011 donations of more than 7,000 lbs of food for those in need! The newly created "Giving Gardens" will foster goodwill among neighbors coming together to complete the project expansions and donate food in:
- New York, NY: Restructure 10,000 square feet of Staten Island's Joe Holzka Garden by installing 40 4x8 feet raised beds to grow food exclusively for the Community Health Services of Staten Island.
- Los Angeles, CA: Rebuild non-functional garden beds, develop an orchard site and expand the Solano Canyon Farm by installing a new water and irrigation system to increase fresh food donations.
- Dallas, TX: Redevelop and increase garden space at Live Oak Community Garden, tripling the number of plot members, to supply their families' food needs and an additional 2,000+ lbs of produce for local food banks.
- Miami, FL: Expand the number of beds and develop a more advanced irrigation system at the Shiloh Community Garden to energize community activity and increase fruit production to benefit Curly's House, a nearby food bank.
- Atlanta, GA: Develop, enhance and expand the 3/4 acre Metro Atlanta Urban Community Garden, doubling the garden plots, to greatly increase crop output for the Atlanta Community Food Bank.
To ensure that the farm makes it to the table, GTG Ambassador Candice Kumai will visit each "Giving Garden" to introduce Woodbridge's vision for approachable gardening and teach people how to cook with fresh ingredients. Candice will personally teach community members how to grow and prepare seasonal "recipe boxes," like the no-fail "Stir-Fry Box," enhanced with wine pairings. The fundamentals for these easy, straightforward mini-gardens will be made available on the GTG website, garden.robertmondavi.com.
"Giving Through Growing is near and dear to my heart because it allows me to help improve people's quality of life, echoing my personal philosophies on healthy living and community involvement," says Candice Kumai. "Everyone deserves the opportunity to sit down at a communal table with a satisfying, fresh homemade meal!" Beyond cooking, Candice will lend her expertise to offer healthy living tips and instill kitchen confidence for consumers needing meal ideas with tasty Woodbridge wine pairings, and even pointers to store and pickle crops.
The mission of GTG, which has donated nearly $150,000 to the ACGA in its first three years, is to stimulate creative thinking around America's hunger problem and provide necessary support that will one day make fresh food available to consumers across the country. "Giving Through Growing's support helps the ACGA find impactful ways to educate people, keep our cities green and provide hunger relief," notes ACGA President Bobby Wilson. "We unite, through GTG's mission, donating thousands of additional pounds of produce this year for food banks. Isn't that something!"
Robert Mondavi's generous spirit has had a profound impact on numerous charitable foundations and Giving through Growing continues his vision of giving back to communities. Learn more by visiting or garden.robertmondavi.com.
About Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi:
Robert Mondavi's pioneering vision stands on three pillars: putting California wines in the company of the great wines of the world; creating a wine culture that put a diverse range of California wines on every American table; and enriching life by embracing wine, food, and the arts as an integral part of gracious living. Robert Mondavi founded Woodbridge Winery near his boyhood home in Lodi, California, to encourage a growing wine culture in the U.S. by making quality wines that could be enjoyed by Americans as part of daily life. Combining traditional winemaking with state-of-the-art innovation, Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi raised the standard for everyday wines in America, and has become one of America's most loved wines.
Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi is distributed by Constellation Wines U.S. - the largest wine company in the U.S. based upon sales dollar value, and an operating division of Constellation Brands, Inc., a leading international producer and marketer of beverage alcohol in the wine, spirits and imported beer categories. For more about Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi, including food and wine pairings and recipes ideas, please visit www.woodbridgewines.com.
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