February 21, 2017
Blackhawk Network Gift Card Sales at Whole Foods Market Generate $100,000+ for Whole Kids Foundation
Money will fund 25 School Garden Grants and an Educational Institute for 15 Regional School Garden Organizations
This past holiday season, Whole Foods Market collaborated with Blackhawk Network to introduce a selection of curated gift cards from leading brands in stores throughout the U.S. Through the program, a portion of sales from these cards generated more than $100,000 for Whole Kids Foundation over the holidays to further the nonprofit’s work improving children’s nutrition and wellness.
The money will fund 25 school garden grants, as well as an educational institute for 15 regional garden organizations hosted by Whole Kids Foundation and Life Lab, a national leader in garden-based learning. The weeklong institute creates a stronger network of nonprofits to share best practices and resources and builds capacity to support more schools. Blackhawk and Whole Foods Market will continue to support Whole Kids Foundation through the gift card program year-round.
Since inception in 2011, Whole Kids Foundation has invested $18 million in programs that have served more than four million children in the United States, Canada and the U.K. In five years, the foundation has provided funds for over 3,700 school gardens and implemented 4,799 salad bars in schools. Additionally, Whole Kids Foundation has reached 13,000 teachers with its healthy teacher education program, available at no cost to all schools.
“We are so grateful to Blackhawk Network, participating card partners and Whole Foods Market, who created a win-win program for customers and merchants and made this donation possible,” said Nona Evans, Whole Kids Foundation president and executive director. “These funds will allow us to reach thousands more students, increasing their access to healthy food.”
Whole Foods Market and Blackhawk are also working to change the gift card industry by requiring all merchant cards in the program be printed on sustainable materials by the fall of this year, which means the cards will be made of wood or paper and can be composted or recycled.
“Through the sustainable gift card options and the contribution to Whole Kids Foundation, we hope to change current prepaid industry standards for the better,” said Marushka Bland, Director of Payments Marketing at Whole Foods Market. “Best of all, this gives customers a way to stretch their dollar with every gift card purchase, allowing them to give back without spending more.”