Santa Monica restaurateurs are coming together in September to raise funds in support of GrowingGreat, a nonprofit group that helps children learn to make better lifelong eating choices.
GrowingGreat’s school-based programs teach children practical tools like being aware of serving sizes, reading package labels, and knowing why eating good food matters.
Children are also exposed to the value of eating fresh, unprocessed, seasonal food. Part of the program is about building school gardens where the children grow and harvest vegetables and fruits, learning about life cycles, and where food comes from.
This year GrowingGreat expanded into Santa Monica with a garden program at Grant Elementary School.
A group of parents, led by Steve Raymond, Jennifer Raymond, and Jessica Tuck, were successful in building a 12-bed garden in the playground. They will begin planting next month.
GrowingGreat’s Executive Director Sarah Gelb told The Mirror children needed to learn at a young age and these tools will last a lifetime
“When we come into a school we need parent, teacher, and staff support to make sure the curriculum will be received,” Gelb said. It takes effort and time to get everyone on the same page, get support from the district, but now they have the foundation to keep the garden growing.”
Santa Monica restaurateurs Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan – owners of Huckleberry Bakery and Café, Rustic Canyon Wine Bar and Seasonal Kitchen, and Sweet Rose Creamery ice cream shop — are helping to support GrowingGreat.
They will host a charity four-course dinner with Justin Winery wine pairings on Sept. 26 at Huckleberry, and they are supporting an online auction now underway through September.
“(Loeb and Nathan) have put the word out to their restaurant friends to donate experiential food (prizes) for the auction,” Gelb said. “They do only one fundraiser a year, and this is what they’ve chosen to support this year. They wanted to support not only Grant Elementary, but also schools in underserved areas.”
The list of auction items includes standouts like a wine dinner for eight at AOC restaurant with AOC’s chef Suzanne Goin, a dinner for eight prepared at your home by chef Walter Manzke featuring Gargiulo Vineyards wines, and a pasta making class and tasting dinner with Rustic Canyon chef Evan Funke. Minimum bids range from $100 to $500; most of the auction items are meant to be shared among a group of friends.
Proceeds of the dinner and auction will benefit GrowingGreat and its programs at Grant Elementary School in Santa Monica, and Synergy Charter Academy and Quincy Jones Elementary School in Los Angeles.
Visit the online auction at http://growinggreat.dojiggy.com, or call Huckleberry Bakery and Café at 310.451.2311 for information about the Sept. 26 charity dinner.
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