Eddie Merlot’s is taking the next step to encouraging farm-to-table initiatives through a partnership with Veggie U, a non-profit children’s education program. This new partnership, along with fresh vegetable and herb gardens at many of our locations, further affirms our focus on fresh foods and good eating habits.
“Veggie U’s goal is to provide classroom garden kits to fourth grade and special need classes free of charge,” says Veggie U marketing coordinator Vicki Jenkins. “We are able to do this because of generous donations from like-minded organizations like Eddie Merlot’s.”
“Our goal is to teach children where their food comes from and help them make the connection back to the farm. We want them to know the importance of nutrition and sustainable agriculture.”
Eddie Merlot’s is happy to be a part of the Veggie U “Earth to Table” science curriculum and classroom kit program.
“Educating our children about making healthy eating choices is so important. Childhood obesity is increasing at an alarming rate. Habits developed while a person is young stay with them into and through a person’s adult life,” says Eddie Merlot’s Director of Operations Bruce Kraus.
“Veggie U is all about allowing children to develop an understanding of where their food comes from, how it is grown and the importance of fresh vegetables in their diets. Children are our future.”
Farmer Lee Jones, a member of the Veggie U Board and owner of Veggie U parent company The Chef’s Garden and sister company the Culinary Vegetable Institute, has created an atmosphere in which sustainable agriculture and the importance of high-quality fresh food is emphasized, and is excited to see what the new partnership will bring for both Veggie U and Eddie Merlot’s.
“Eddie Merlot’s involvement with Veggie U is phenomenal yet not surprising. Their commitment to quality and sustainability is evident throughout the entire menu. Their commitment to the community through the support of programs like Veggie U permeates the culture from the top leadership to the staff at each individual location,” says Farmer Lee. “We are extremely excited about the partnership between Eddie Merlot’s, The Chef’s Garden and Veggie U, and we are grateful for their contribution to changing children’s eating habits.”
While The Chef’s Garden provides many top chefs with the fresh produce they need to produce their culinary masterpieces, the Culinary Vegetable Institute gives them a venue to share ideas, experiment and develop new techniques. Through this work, Farmer Lee Jones and others have been able to bring some of the world’s top chefs to Farm to Table dinners and the annual Veggie U Food and Wine Celebration. The 10th Annual celebration will be held on July 21, and feature chefs like Robert Irvine, Johnny Iuzzini, Lee Anne Wong, Claire Robinson, Eddie Merlot’s own Tony Dee and many more. Tickets are still available for this grand event here: http://www.veggieufoodandwine.com/