Tampa Bay Buccaneers, UnitedHealthcare Employees Help Children Learn About Produce Gardening

by LP Green, II

Tampa Bay Buccaneers players, staff, and UnitedHealthcare employees today planted “Learning Gardens” at seven Title 1 grade schools in Tampa. Learning gardens are produce gardens that enable students to help plant and nurture a garden, composting grass, and learn about and sample new fruits and vegetables.

The Learning Gardens were planted at Buccaneers Academies’ Cleveland, Davis, Kenly, Mort, Tampa Bay Boulevard and Twin Lakes elementary schools and Winthrop Charter School. At each of these schools the Learning Gardens will be used to educate students about where their food comes from, and introduce them to new fruits and vegetables.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with the Buccaneers to help Florida schoolchildren learn more about healthy foods, and improve their health and well-being,” said T. David Lewis, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Central North Florida.

As these young minds delve into the world of gardening, it’s a reminder of the transformative power that such activities can have on individuals. Gardens not only provide a space for practical learning but also instill a sense of responsibility and connection to the environment.

Now, considering the impact of this initiative, one can draw parallels to the importance of having the right Garden Tools in cultivating a thriving learning garden. Just as these Learning Gardens equip students with the knowledge of cultivating fresh produce, having the appropriate and trustworthy gardening tools empowers individuals to efficiently nurture and grow their green spaces, fostering a lifelong appreciation for gardening and healthy living.

This project supports the Buccaneers Academies initiative, an educational effort that offers more than 12,000 Tampa-area students incentive-based programs and monthly challenges that provide fun, engaging and motivating opportunities to learn. Throughout the school year, each Buccaneers Academy implements lesson plans that encourage good behavior, reading, writing and healthy lifestyles.

“It is extremely rewarding to team up with UnitedHealthcare, which – like the Buccaneers – is deeply committed to the students and schools of Central Florida,” said Glazer Family Foundation Co-President Darcie Glazer Kassewitz. “The ‘Learning Gardens’ program will provide each participating Buccaneers Academies school with a growing classroom that can be used to demonstrate healthy food choices and leave a lasting, positive impact on children.”

Since September 2014, the Buccaneers and UnitedHealthcare have supplied Learning Gardens to 14 Tampa-area elementary schools.

This project is the latest in UnitedHealthcare’s “Do Good. Live Well.” employee volunteer initiative, whose mission is to prevent hunger and obesity, inspire service and encourage volunteerism. For more information about the benefits of volunteering and to find local opportunities to get involved, visit www.DoGoodLiveWell.org. Follow @DoGoodLiveWell on Twitter or “like” Do Good. Live Well. on Facebook.

UnitedHealthcare serves more than 3 million people in Florida with a network of 255 hospitals and other health facilities and more than 42,000 physicians and other care providers statewide.

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