Veggie U: Growing (and Eating) Vegetables in Classrooms

Veggie U“Seriously, we heart vegetables.”

No joke, that’s a direct quote from a 4th grader that finished the Veggie U program. We know what you’re thinking: “That’s impossible!” But luckily for lots of fourth grade classrooms, we’ve been working for the last two years to bring the Veggie U program to schools. PacificSource has funded this program for classrooms across Oregon, Idaho, and we’re about to launch Veggie U in Montana.

What is Veggie U?

Veggie U offers kits complete with seeds, soil, flats, root view boxes, grow lights, and even worm farms. These materials allow students to get hands-on experience with every stage of vegetable planting, growing, and harvesting. Since the students invest so much time and effort into growing these vegetables, they’re more likely to eat them, and to try other new, healthy foods. To see what we’re talking about, check out this short video.

“We’ve noticed that our kids have started taking more vegetables in the lunch line,” said one fourth grade teacher. “I’ve also heard from several parents that their children are asking for different vegetables once they get home. That alone has been worth the time to offer the program.” We asked the kids who participated what their favorite part of the program was. Besides eating the yummy vegetables they grew themselves, their clear choice was the worm farms!

Veggie U_Thank you cardHow our communities are helping

If you’ve seen PacificSource at a community event, you might have already helped the cause. When we ask you to take part in a healthy activity (check your blood pressure, try a healthy snack, exercise, or share a healthy idea), we’re donating $1 on your behalf to Veggie U. So you’re helping yourself, and local classrooms in one swoop. That’s one heck of a double whammy!

It’s exciting to see such a great program be embraced by kids, teachers, and parents. Veggie U has the potential to benefit the lives of hundreds of children in the communities we serve, and PacificSource is proud to sponsor it.

If you’d like to nominate a classroom in your area to receive a Veggie U kit, just fill out this nomination form and tell us why your teacher/classroom would be a good fit for Veggie U. Here’s the form: Veggie U Nomination Form

Related Post: Congratulations to the Healthy Life Essay Contest Winner

Walk It Off Wednesdays!

016It’s that time of the year again! The days are longer, the nights are warmer, and the rain has subsided. Well, Kind of. Regardless, PacificSource is teaming up with morning radio personalities, Liz and Reilly from 94-5 Mix FM in Eugene, to host Walk It Off Wednesdays!

So if you love long walks and good company, join us every Wednesday from 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m at Alton Baker Park. We love seeing new faces, and it doesn’t matter if you come with a group or solo. The point of this event is to get out and keep yourself active. It’s not a race or a group walk, it’s just designed to get you outdoors and moving on your terms.

Flavored WaterEach week, we will have fun flavored waters, fresh fruit, and new recipes (created by our very own, Kim the Intern) to take home. Liz and Reilly will also be have a weekly prize drawing and all you have to do is sign in! If you aren’t convinced yet, there will also be a huge drawing at the end of the summer and for every time you join us at Walk It Off, the more chances you will have to win the BIG PRIZE. Last year, they gave away a $500 gift certificate to Salishan on the Oregon Coast.

We’re four weeks in, and it’s going strong. Each week has been themed, with Tie Day for dads weekend, Bling it On for fun, and this week is crazy hat day (make no mistake about it, people take the themes seriously). We promise it won’t be like that scene in Legally Blonde, you won’t be the only one in costume. So, if you find yourself without something to do this Wednesday join us!

Here are some photos to paint a picture of what Walk It Off Wednesdays are all about.

 

Related Post: Step it Up! Walk your way to a 10K!

Pounding the Pavement for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

Meet Jason, LLS "Man of the Year" Candidate

Meet Jason, LLS “Man of the Year” Candidate

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is battling to cure blood cancers like leukemia, lymphoma, myeloma, and Hodgkin’s disease. In addition, they also provide resources to improve the quality of life for those facing these horrible diseases. Needless to say, their mission is one we’re proud to support, and LLS is an organization we stand firmly behind.

But the question always looms, “What can one person to do help?” Well, it turns out, the right person can do an awful lot.

Jason Fullan, one of our extremely warm-hearted employees in Portland, stepped up in a big way to help LLS, and the patients they’re fighting for. This year, Jason participated in the LLS “Man & Woman of the Year” competition. In competition against other community leaders in Portland, Jason spent 10 weeks raising money for LLS. During those 10 weeks, Jason rolled up his sleeves and pounded the pavement in search of support. He went to businesses, wrote letters, and pleaded with his community to help this phenomenal cause. And, at PacificSource, Jason was our vocal leader in supporting LLS.

This month, Jason attended the Gala of Hope along with all of the other incredible competitors in Oregon. The event was all about recognizing this phenomenal group of people, and highlight what their contributions were funding. These funds went directly to helping patients who were recently diagnosed, and to research for the future. While the spirit of competition was alive, these patients were the focus of the night.

Jason didn’t take home the title of “Man of the Year.” But he raised $19,985.98 for LLS. Yes, one guy raised almost $20,000! We couldn’t be more proud of Jason, and we’re so thankful that he stepped up to challenge.

If you’d like to learn more about LLS and find out how you can support their organization, visit their website: http://www.lls.org/.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.