Lettuce, watermelon and a fresh batch of herbs are growing at the Los Angeles Boys & Girls Club, and Lakers star Pau Gasol – as well as the American Heart Association – get an assist for making it happen.
The fruits and vegetables are part of an American Heart Association Teaching Garden that was planted at the club during the Gasol Foundation’s first annual Healthy Competition, an eight-week challenge between children in Los Angeles (where Pau plays) and Memphis (where his brother Marc stars for the Memphis Grizzlies).
The youngsters were encouraged to become healthier through physical activity and healthy eating. Planting a garden and teaching the kids the benefits of eating the harvest offers two lessons in one, which is the crux of this innovative program.
“What we’re doing is simple, elegant and fun. Kids can relate – and all the statistics show what changing eating habits can do,” said American Heart Association volunteer Kelly Meyer, the founder of the Teaching Gardens program. “We love working with athletes like Pau because they are very much a part of our message of being physically active and eating healthy foods. It’s a natural fit.”
Although the competition is over, the garden continues to grow. So will the lessons learned by the 27 children ages 6 to 15 who were part of the event – none of whom had ever even eaten a salad, said Randy Ryan, the American Heart Association’s manager of Teaching Gardens in Los Angeles.
Reblogged from American Heart Association blog. Click the link for the full story!