1 The Dinner Garden Grant Linda F. Deneher Boise State University: Ed Tech 551
2 AbstractThe problem of hunger in America is widespread and increasing. Every day millions of peopleare hungry (United States Department of Agriculture, 2006, 2009). The Dinner Garden, anonprofit organization in San Antonio, Texas, is dedicated to fighting hunger by providing seedsand education to hungry families. Since 2009, 65,000 people have been provided with seeds for afamily of four and education on successful gardening both in person and online through theDinner Gardens website. This mission is achieved by connections with prospective grantors(Appendix A) and the application (Appendix B) and award of grants. This grant application andsupporting documentation is submitted in consideration of an award from the GardeningAssociation of America of two, $500 gift cards to garden supply stores (Gardening Associationof America, 2011). The group anticipates using the cards to provide seed packets andsupplemental information to the first 100 of the 50,000 people on their waiting list and thepurchase of an electronic weather station (Home Depot, 2011). The weather station facilitates astandards-based (Texas Education Agency, 2011) fourth-grade lesson regarding the weather andadaptations useful for successful gardening in San Antonio, currently experiencing an extremedrought (National Drought Mitigation Center, 2011). Keywords: grant, garden, drought
3 The Dinner Garden Grant History The Dinner Garden’s mission is to reduce hunger in America. They gather and distributeenough free seeds to provide for the needs of a family of four for one growing season. They havegiven away seeds for 65,000 gardens at a cost of $1.79 per garden. Currently, there are 50,000people on the waiting list for services, which include providing education and online resources togardeners. This is of particular importance because the home city of the group, San Antonio,Texas, is experiencing drought making it even more difficult for novice gardeners to besuccessful (National Drought Mitigation Center, 2011) (Appendix C). Public awareness of the Dinner Garden is facilitated by partnership with CatholicCharities, Seeds for Food, the Wyoming Food Bank, World Food Garden, San Antonio FoodBank, Girl Scouts, Boys and Girls Club, and the Salvation Army. Magazine articles about thegroup and its mission have been published by Redbook, Family Circle, Womans World, UrbanFarmer, and American Dog. Most recently, in 2011 CNN named the Dinner Gardens founder aCNN Hero (CNN, 2011). A solid network of donators includes Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds,Google, the Good People Fund, ExxonMobil, Organized Chaos, and the Cabot Cheese Co-Op(Dinner Garden, 2011). Needs Assessment In 2006, 22.8 million adults and 12.6 million children lived in food insecure households.15.6% of households with children reported food insecurity. 30% of households with childrenheaded by single women were food insecure, and 5.9% of households with seniors living alone, a
4 total of 1.6 million, were food insecure (United States Department of Agriculture, 2009)(Appendix D). By 2009, numbers and all of these categories increased. 33 million adults and 17.2million children lived in food insecure households. 21.3% of households with children reportedfood insecurity. 36.6% of households headed by single women experience food insecurity. 7.8%of households with seniors living alone experience food insecurity (United States Department ofAgriculture, 2009) (Appendix D). The city of San Antonio, Texas, the home of the Dinner Garden, is the seventh -- largestcity in America; the metropolitan area has a population of 2 million people. Average rainfall inthe area is 30 inches per year, but Texas has been in a drought for several years. The areasurrounding San Antonio is rated as D4 Exceptional. (National Drought Mitigation Center, 2011)(Appendix C). Yearly temperatures range from below freezing to above 100°. The lack ofrainfall and the wide range of temperatures increase the difficulty for gardeners. Curriculum standards for the state of Texas, Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills(TEKS) for the third grade, require the presentation of information that can be readily illustratedin the production and maintenance of a garden. For example, Science Standard (10) (A) requiresstudents to “explore how the structures and function of plants and animals allow them to survivein a particular environment.” Standard (9) (C) expects students to: describe environmentalchanges such as floods and droughts where some organisms thrive and others perish or moved tonew locations.” (Texas Education Agency, 2011).
5 Fourth grade Science Standard (8) (A) introduces the concept of patterns in the naturalworld and requires students to “measure and record changes in weather and make predictionsusing weather maps weather symbols and a map key.” and be able to describe the water cycle(Texas Education Agency, 2011. This prior assimilation of background knowledge frommastering grade three concepts makes a lesson in gardening for fourth-graders ideal. The growing problem of hunger in the San Antonio metropolitan area can be solved withsupport for young gardeners. The Dinner Garden teaches gardeners how to create food,facilitating self-sufficiency. These free packets and supporting education has been successfullydelivered since 2009. Due to the donation of seeds and work done by volunteers, the final priceof the seeds is only $1.79 per packet for postage. Dinner Garden is community-based andnationwide serving gardeners in all 50 states. The approach is professional, there is an efficientmode of distribution of seeds and education, and the director, Holly Hirschberg, has experienceteaching gardening. The Dinner Garden is a cost effective, sustainable solution to hunger. Narrative: Goals and ObjectivesGoal: Increase the ability of the Dinner Garden to provide seeds, tools, and education togardeners.Objective One: To increase distribution of seed packets by mailing packets to the first 100people on the waiting list by the start of the 2012 growing season. There are 50,000 people on the Dinner Gardens waiting list. The first objective is toincrease the dinner Gardens distribution of seed packets by mailing them to the first hundredpeople on the waiting list by the start of the 2012 growing season. This is achieved by using one
6 of the grant awards, a $500 gift card from Home Depot, to purchase the seeds required for 100packets. Included in each packet is identification of each seed and directions for planting andgrowing. Gardeners are instructed to go to the Dinner Gardens website for more detailedinformation including recipes.Objective Two: After active participation in the lesson on the effects of weather on gardens, 15students in the fourth grade will make at least five changes in the gardening practices during the2011 -- 2012 growing season so their gardens are congruent with their desert environment. This objective fulfills requirements for qualification of the grant offered by the NationalGardening Associations 2012 Youth Garden Grants. The gift card from Home Depot will beused to purchase in the luck trying to a weather station (Appendix E) used in the presentation ofthis lesson. The drought in San Antonio has added to the difficulty of maintaining a successfulgarden in the desert. Understanding the effects of weather on a daily basis and climate as apattern is essential to success. Gardening practices have a significant impact on the success, or lack thereof, on everygarden. This lesson presents several methods gardeners can use to save water and reduce soiltemperature. Providing a greater understanding of the weather and ways to mitigate it facilitatesyield, thereby reducing hunger. Method The first objective is achieved by taking the gift card award to Home Depot and using itto purchase packages of seeds. The Dinner Garden produces their seed packets by assemblingand re-labeling seeds from larger packets. Excel spreadsheets are used to maintain the waiting
7 list, print labels for the seed packets, and growing instructions for each variety of seed. Thegroup is able to provide the postage for the first 100 people on the mailing list. The second objective includes a lesson for fourth grade students on the effects of weatheron gardening in the San Antonio area. Discussion of the weather is facilitated by the purchase ofan electronic weather station. The weather station displays temperature, wind direction,atmospheric pressure, and humidity. Mitigation of the effects of the weather in San Antonio isshown to be possible when gardeners incorporate specific watering methods, soil management,and crop selection. Evaluation There are two objectives in this project that require evaluation. The first objective is toincrease the Dinner Garden’s distribution of seed packets by mailing them to the first hundredpeople on the waiting list by the start of the 2012 growing season. This is evaluated by recordingthe number of people on the waiting list before progress towards the objective begins, andrecording it again at the completion of the project. The project is deemed 100% successful if thetotal number of people on the waiting list is reduced by 100. The second objective requiring evaluation is contained in the lesson plan, which is arequired feature in the application for this grant. The TEKS objective states, “After activeparticipation in a lesson on the effects of weather on gardens, 15 students in the fourth grade willmake at least five changes in the gardening practices during the 2011 -- 2012 growing season sothat gardens are congruent with their desert environment.” Fulfillment of all of the objectivesrequires first, that participation is active as opposed to reluctant, there are at least 15 students in
8 the fourth grade, they make at least five changes in their practices that adapt their gardens to thedesert, and that it occur during the 2011 -- 2012 growing season. The lesson includes information on eight different ways that gardens can be adapted forthe desert environment. They are: adding trip irrigation, adding mulch, changing plant varietiesto ones requiring less water, changing the plant design to add shade, changing the gardeninfrastructure to add shade, adding edible groundcover, not watering during the day in thesummer, and adding more winter harvestable plants. Student responses are evaluated using arubric (Appendix F). BudgetObjective One: Mailing 100 seed packets.Item: postageQuantity: 100Cost: $179.00Total: $179.00Objective Two: Weather lesson.Item: The Weather Channel Professional Weather Center model WS -- 1611T WC -- IT.Quantity: oneCost: $109.00
9 Texas state sales tax: 6.25% = $6.81Total: $115.81 Conclusion The negative effects of hunger in America is has a significant impact upon children,whose nutritional needs as they grow are significant. When children go to school hungry, itmakes it more difficult for them to learn. Utilizing grant awards to teach children how to growtheir own food making it possible for them to feed themselves and their families for the rest oftheir lives. Awards used to support the dinner Garden allows the group to impact hunger byproviding face-to-face education specifically oriented to gardening in the drought - impacted SanAntonio metropolitan area. The supporting documentation for grant applications is based oncontent standards developed and implemented by the state of Texas and can be delivered to avariety of public and private organizations.
10 ReferencesCNN. (2011). Free seeds help Americans get, by, live healthier. Retrieved from www.cnn.com/2011/US/07/14/cnnheroes.hirshberg.../index.htmlDinner Garden. (2011). The Dinner Garden. Retrieved from http://www.dinnergarden.org.htmlGardening Association of America. (2011). KidsGardening: Helping young minds grow. Retrieved from www.kidsgardening.org/grants/2012-youth-garden-grants-1Home Depot (2011). Professional weather center. Retrieved from www.homedepot.comNational Drought Mitigation Center. (2011). Current U.S. Drought Monitor. Retrieved from droughtmonitor.unl.edu/monitor.htmlTexas Education Agency. (2011). Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. Retrieved from www.tea.state.tx.index2.aspx?id=6148United Stated Department of Agriculture. (2006). Household food security in the United States. Retrieved from www.ers.usda.gov/Publications/ERR49/United Stated Department of Agriculture. (2009). Household food security in the United States. Retrieved from www.ers.usda.gov/Publications/err108/err108/
11 Appendix AOctober 20, 2011National Gardening Association1100 Dorset StreetSouth Burlington, VT 05403Dear National Gardening Association:This letter is sent to you from Linda Deneher, the Grants Director of the Dinner Garden, which isa 501(3)c nonprofit organization dedicated to providing seeds and gardening education to hungryfamilies in America. Since 2009 the Dinner Garden, partnered with the San Antonio Food Bank,Boys and Girls Club, Girl Scouts, and the Salvation Army, provided seeds and gardeningeducation to 65,000 people. Dinner Garden director, Holly Hirschberg, was presented with theYellow Rose of Texas Award, and has been featured in Redbook, Family Circle, and UrbanFarmer magazines. Most recently she was named a CNN Hero for her efforts to reduce hunger.We have a strong infrastructure in place ready to deliver seeds and education to our waiting listof 50,000 people. The only thing stopping us from immediately serving everyone on the waitinglist is the lack of seeds. With your assistance, we can deliver seeds and education to thesehungry people. Thank you very much for your consideration in this request. We are lookingforward to your response.Sincerely,Linda DeneherGrants DirectorThe Dinner GardenP.O. Box 700686San Antonio, Texas 78270-0686www.dinnergarden.org
12 Appendix BContact InformationName: Linda DeneherE-mail: email@example.comTitle: Grants DirectorContact Phone Number: (800) 555-1212Contact Mailing Address: P.O. Box 700686 San Antonio, TX 78270-0686Organization: Dinner Garden www.dinnergarden.org (800) 555-1212Organization Mailing Address: One Sandy Place San Antonio, TX 78270Shipping Address: P.O. Box 700686 San Antonio, TX 78270-0686Program Information Part One: Demographics1) Start up or established? Established Garden
13 2) Does your program have a special emphasis? Please check any that apply and explain in theProject Overview section: Nutrition/Hunger3) What type of organization are you? Nonprofit Agency4) How many children/youth from each age group will participate directly in the gardenprogram? Ages 9-11 (grades 4-6): 32 (one class)5) How many hours per week on average will a participating child/youth be involved ingardening activities? One hour per week per participant6) If applicable, please indicate the number of children/youth who will benefit indirectly fromthe garden program without being involved in a direct, hands-on way: This number cannot be directly calculated. All of the siblings of the students involved in the lesson benefit as do everyone who is a recipient of a seed packet.7) What is the gender and cultural/ethnic makeup of the population served by your gardeningprogram? Population data is not collected for people on the seat database. The students served by the lesson are equally divided between male and female and the population is predominantly Latino.8) What percentage of direct participants are eligible for free/reduced cost lunch programs?
14 All of the direct participants are eligible for free/reduced cost lunch programs.Program Information Part 2: Leadership9) List the individuals in your programs leadership team and describe each leaders experience ingardening with kids: Holly Hirschberg has delivered lessons to students through the Girl Scouts, Boys and Girls Club, and the Salvation Army. She has prepared gardening information designed for children in these programs and misinformation is also included in the seed packets.10) Community members, organizations, and businesses that actively support your gardenprogram the material donations and volunteer hours: Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, the Good People Fund, Exxon Mobil, Cabot Cheese Co- Op, Organized Chaos11) How does/will your program make a difference in your community? The problem of hunger in America impacts the lives of millions of children. The Dinner Garden makes a difference by reducing hunger in the metropolitan San Antonio area by teaching families how to garden. Do the donation of seeds and volunteers’ time, the Dinner Garden delivers seeds for a garden that will support a family of four for one growing season for $1.79 per packet for postage. Education provided to elementary school students facilitates positive interaction in the gardening process, which increases the potential for successful harvests.12) When did planning for your youth garden first begin? 2008
15 13) When did children/youth first begin gardening at your site? 200914) How do you plan to sustain you program in the future, (e.g., ensure ongoing maintenance andleadership; Build partnerships; find sources and/or funds for plant materials, services, tools,etc.)? The group has partnered with Catholic Charities, Seeds for Food, the Wyoming Food Bank, World Food Garden, San Antonio Food Bank, Girl Scouts, Boys and Girls C., and the Salvation Army. Magazine articles about the group and its mission has been published by Redbook, Family Circle, Womans World, Urban Farmer, and American Dog. Most recently, in 2011 CNN named the Dinner Gardens founder a CNN Hero. A solid network of donators includes Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Google, the Good People Fund, ExxonMobil, Organized Chaos, and the Cabot Cheese Co-Op. The Dinner Garden has the ability to make itself known to the public through publications, and has developed a network of companies willing to donate seeds and others willing to donate postage. This combination of public awareness and seeds will reduce hunger for everyone served.Appendix B: Grant Application. This grant is offered annually by the Gardening Association ofAmerica.Gardening Association of America. (2011). KidsGardening: Helping young minds grow. Retrieved from www.kidsgardening.org/grants/2012-youth-garden-grants-1
16 Appendix CAppendix C: Drought Map. This map shows drought conditions for the metropolitan San Antonioarea on October 18, 2011.National Drought Mitigation Center. (2011). Current U.S. Drought Monitor. Retrieved from droughtmonitor.unl.edu/monitor.html.
17 Appendix DAppendix D. This chart demonstrates the increase in the number of Americans experiencing foodinsecurity.United Stated Department of Agriculture. (2006). Household food security in the United States. Retrieved from www.ers.usda.gov/Publications/ERR49/United Stated Department of Agriculture. (2009). Household food security in the United States. Retrieved from www.ers.usda.gov/Publications/err108/err108/
18 Appendix EAppendix E. Weather Station. This image and description is the Weather Station used in thelesson that accompanies the grant project.Home Depot (2011). Professional weather center. Retrieved from www.homedepot.com.
19 Appendix F Active Number of Grade Number of Before End Evaluation Students Changes of 2012 Growing Season 1 Yes 1/15 4 7 Yes 100% 2 3Appendix F: Rubric. This table shows the first four rows of the rubric designed to evaluateObjective Two.