CLEVELAND - Four years later, a local blogger and more than two dozen area restaurants and businesses are once again working together to help save a national program that promotes teaching children the importance of living and eating healthy.
Michelle Venorsky, who writes the blog Cleveland Foodie , is working to raise money for Veggie U , a national program that promotes teaching children how to live a healthy lifestyle with a focus on making wise food choices, combating adolescent and juvenile disease and understanding sustainable agriculture. The program provides a complete kit and lesson plans to teachers to help educate their students through hands-on learning. There are more than 150 participating classrooms in the Cleveland area and each kit costs $225.
Venorsky said she believes many people who are making poor food choices are also doing so for their kids – and those kids are becoming plagued with juvenile diabetes.
“Of course there are a lot of factors contributing to this dilemma. And there are varying perspectives on what to do about it,” Venorsky wrote on her blog. “We’re not going to easily solve the problem, but we can start today by trying to make a difference right here in our community."
To date, the annual fundraising campaign has raised a total of $11,750. To help with the campaign, more than two dozen area restaurants and businesses are donating more than $1,500 worth of prizes to be used in a drawing among people who donate to save the program. Participating restaurants include Fahrenheit , Greenhouse Tavern , Blue Canyon , Fire and Washington Place Bistro and Inn .
Anyone who donates $5 to Veggie U will automatically be entered to win the gift cards to local eateries and shops. Want to increase your odds? Donate $10, $25, $50 or more. For every $5 you donate, you will earn another entry into the drawing. The more you donate, the greater your chance of winning.
"We can help fourth graders in Cleveland learn about food. Learn about farming. And understand where their meals come from and the benefits of making smart choices early on," Venorsky continued. "And then they can take that newfound excitement and knowledge home to their parents and start a conversation about what they eat and begin to make better choices as a family."
Venorsky will randomly choose three winners from the pool of donations. People interested in donating have until noon on Friday, Dec. 21 to do so.
“This fundraising effort would not be possible without the generosity and support of our local chefs, restaurants and local businesses. I may sound like a broken record, but we live in the best city where nearly everyone is always so quick to help and pitch in and take care of others without a second thought,” she wrote. “To those that donated I can’t thank you enough. Truly.”
To donate, call 419-499-7500 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. You must reference Cleveland Foodie. You can also donate online here: http://on.wews.com/11NZEMO
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