Chipotle, Slow Food USA support school gardens in new partnership

Fast food met slow food at the Chipotle test kitchen on Oct. 7 to celebrate Chipotle and Slow Food USA’s Oct. 8 announcement of their new partnership.

The partnership allows Slow Food USA to expand its School Gardens endeavor, in which it creates gardens for school communities to teach young children about the origins of their food.

Managing director of Slow Food USA Kate Krauss, 38, cited the School Gardens Program as a major part of the organization.

“Through this hands-on experience with food, we’ll be able to create a generation of kids that run toward good food,” Krauss said.

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By working with Chipotle, a major fast food corporation, Slow Food USA will be able to grow and impact more schools.

“In just the first year, we will dig in deep and support and expand 100 gardens within 10 different regions across the USA,” Krauss said.

Chipotle spokesperson Danielle Winslow, 27, elaborated on their plan.

“Slow Food USA will offer ongoing technical assistance and Chipotle will provide garden funding through micro-grants, in-restaurant fundraisers, and hands-on support,” Winslow said.

The partnership further develops Chipotle and Slow Food’s prior interactions in creating community based gardens.

“Slow Food has a long history of partnering with Chipotle on the local level because we share the same philosophy toward food,” Krauss said.

Winslow said the partnership will extend Chipotle’s efforts to encourage responsible eating while also aiding an organization with similar goals.

“We have been interested in teaching gardens for some time and by focusing our efforts on the Slow Food USA School Garden Program, we can significantly add to what we’ve accomplished in this area,” Winslow said.

By educating children at a young age, Slow Food USA and Chipotle hope to reshape the way food is perceived and eaten.

“Chipotle is changing the way people think about and eat fast food by using ingredients that are raised with respect for the environment, animals and farmers,” Winslow said. “We have long believed that the more people know about their food and where it comes from, the more they will choose to eat better food.”

Krauss expressed the hope that the partnership would allow the School Gardens Program to grow and impact more people.

“We’re very excited about this partnership not only because it will allow us to dramatically expand our School Garden Program, but also because it will help introduce us to a whole new group of people who share our values but may not have heard about our work,” Krauss said.

Email Kari Sonde at [email protected]

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