Veggie U was created in 2003 as a not-for-profit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The impetus of this innovative program came in response to the lack of nutrition education in elementary schools and to combat the onslaught of packaged food marketing to children. Studies have found that children involved in a nutrition program with a gardening component are more likely to make healthy food choices.
In the spring of 2003, and for the following 18 months, a group of dedicated educators, nutritionists, and medical professionals donated their time and talents to create a curriculum which met the benchmarks of the national science standards that had been set forth by the No Child Left Behind initiative. Since that time, Veggie U has been continually updated with the latest advances in educational standards. We meet many state and national standards for life science and health.
In the fall and spring of the 2004/2005 school year, 15 classrooms in Erie County, Ohio, piloted the new curriculum to great reviews from teachers and students alike. With financial help from corporate donations, charitable foundations, and individual donors, the list of classrooms continued to grow. Former Ohio Governor Bob Taft endorsed the program in 2005 and Veggie U has been featured in TIME Magazine for Kids, Midwest Living, Parade, The Food Network, and many local and regional publications and news channels. Veggie U has flourished in over 6,500 classrooms in 36 states.