Skip to main content


For Information, contact:

Jody Kass, Executive Director, 704-412-4506 x101,

$10k Grant to Connect Gardening with Healthy Eating



PlantPure Communities has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Square Foot Gardening (SFG) Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by Mel Bartholomew. The grant is to support the integration of a gardening component into the PlantPure Communities Oasis Program; and to share the Square Foot Gardening Method with the PlantPure Communities Pod Network.

In awarding the $10,000 grant to PlantPure Communities, Laura Bartholomew, the managing director of the SFG Foundation, said: “We think there are so many ways our two organizations can come together and blend our visions toward the same goal – teaching people around the world the benefits of growing and eating plant-based foods for better long-term health and nutrition!”  Steve Bartholomew, the son of Mel Bartholomew, who created Square Foot Gardening, a simple, easy and efficient method to teach people how to grow their own food, said, “The collaboration between PlantPure Communities and the Square Foot Gardening Foundation will help spread the great message of growing and eating fresh vegetables and fruit around the world.”

(From left to right: Nelson Campbell, Laura Bartholomew, Steve Bartholomew, Jody Kass, Laurie Courage, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, and Jim Courage)

The mission of the SFG Foundation is to teach self sustainability and reliance through gardening and to promote a lifestyle that manages health in a positive manner. PlantPure Communities (PPC) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization working to build stronger, healthier and more sustainable neighborhoods through research, policy, and program activities. PPC partners with a wide range of stakeholders to share the benefits of a whole food, plant-based lifestyle. Nelson Campbell, founder of PPC and creator of the vision for the Oasis Program, said: “SFGF and PPC will work together to provide affordable food options in lower income communities that help people take charge of their health and gain independence from an expensive and overburdened healthcare system.”

An important PPC goal is to empower millions of people to take control and responsibility for their wellness. Through the Oasis Program, PPC is bringing healthy food and science-based nutrition education to underserved neighborhoods across the country, engaging hundreds of people who otherwise would not have access and/or could not afford it. To date, four Pilots have been completed in communities in Georgia, Tennessee, Rhode Island, and Arizona. (See link for more information about the Oasis Program and success stories: With this support of the SFG Foundation, PPC is advancing an initiative to integrate a gardening component into the Oasis Program. The Square Foot Gardening method offers a simple system that can be implemented in just about any home (even those with extremely limited access to green space). Integrating the SFG method into Oasis fulfills one of PPC’s key growth objectives for the Oasis Program. It will provide families with locally grown, fresh, nutritious, organic food and help them become self-sustainable. While the initial 10 days of the Jumpstart serve as the foundation of the Oasis Program, integrating the Square Foot Gardening method into the larger 13-week Oasis Program will powerfully reinforce the connection between health and food, and increase the likelihood of achieving long-term success and lasting changes. The second round of Oasis Pilot communities will be selected via an Open Invitation that will be issued in early 2018.

The official public announcement of the grant took place at the Anniversary event of PlantPure Communities on Nov. 30th in NYC. Many leaders of the plant-based movement were there to help celebrate.

(John Salley, 4-time NBA champ and vegan champion, with Laura and Steve Bartholomew from the Square Foot Gardening Foundation)

“We are grateful to the SFG Foundation for this support,” said Jody Kass, executive director of PPC. “The grant has already allowed PPC to create a roadmap to more fully integrate this extraordinary gardening method into the Oasis Program. In addition, PPC has created an Info Sheet on the Square Foot Gardening Method, which is now on PPC’s website and will be an anchor for the PPC Toolkit on Gardening, which will be unveiled in the first quarter 2018.” PPC has developed a series of virtual Toolkits as topic-specific project guides particularly to support the PlantPure Communities Pod Network. There are over 45,000 people participating in 460 groups (or ‘Pods’) who are connected to the PPC Pod Network. Each of the Toolkits offer a wide range of materials, forms, resources, and more. The Toolkits are designed so that Group Leaders of the Pod may create a menu of potential project options that Pod members may choose to implement in their communities. The $10,000 grant from the SFG Foundation has also been used to help lay the foundation for the Gardening Toolkit.

T. Colin Campbell, PhD., author of The China Study, who serves on the PPC Board of Advisors said, “I am thrilled about the Square Foot Gardening Foundation’s support of PPC’s Oasis Program. This partnership will help change many lives for the better by providing fresh, sustainable, and affordable whole food, plant based ingredients to homes across the country.”

Jim Courage, PPC Board member, said, “PlantPure Communities is delighted and so grateful to Steve and Laura Bartholomew and the Square Foot Gardening Foundation for their most generous $10,000 grant. Our organizations share synergy and align on the purpose of helping people, especially in underserved communities, take actions to improve their health. SFGF is helping PPC work to embed a gardening component in PPC’s Oasis program. This will encourage individuals and families in many US communities to create 4’ by 4’ gardens for themselves and grow a variety of whole, plant- based foods and vegetables like romaine, kale, broccoli and swiss chard for their families. This is all part of our shared vision for healthier, more sustainable communities and makes progress toward ending world hunger.”

For more information about PlantPure Communities, go to:

For more information about the Square Foot Gardening Foundation, go to:


Share on Social Media