by Kayley Gamm, RD, LD
Hy-Vee Inc. recently 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.
Each recipient received $1,000. These grants will be used to purchase seeds, plants, garden tools and food preservation equipment for community gardens. One Step Garden 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.
Hy-Vee’s One Step 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.
Including this year’s recipients, 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.
This year, Gage Elementary School received the grant to continue to grow its current community garden. Kayley Gamm, registered dietitian, and Joey Smith, manager from Hy-Vee on 37th St., went to the school to present the check. Following the check presentation, students and teachers planted the herbs that they had been growing in their classroom.
Kayley Gamm, RD, LD, graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Community Medical Dietetics from Viterbo University in La Crosse, WI. After graduation, she moved to Quincy, IL where she worked as both an inpatient and outpatient dietitian. While in Illinois, she developed a diabetes education program as well as a community-based wellness program. She then moved to Medford, OR, where she spent a year and a half as a diabetes educator. For the past year and a half she has been living and working in New Zealand. Kayley has a passion for program development and community education. Her most recent project was starting a medical clinic in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. There, she acted as medical director and developed a telemedicine program to bring nutrition education to the country. Kayley grew up in Mantorville, so returns to the Rochester area to be closer to family and friends. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, reading and eating at new restaurants. For more posts from Kayley, click here.