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National Restaurant Association - Jamba Juice helps D.C. gardens grow

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Jamba Juice helps D.C. gardens grow

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In honor of Earth Day, Jamba Juice, the quickservice snack and beverage chain that promotes healthful living and dining, this week awarded grants to three Washington, D.C. schools in support of their community garden programs.

The grants, awarded April 26, are part of Jamba Juice's "It's all About the Fruit and Veggie" program, which was established in 2010 in partnership with the National Gardening Association.

James D. White, Jamba Juice's chairman and chief executive, and Mike Metallo, the NGA's president and chief executive, awarded the grants to the Girard Children's Community Garden, Urban Village Community Association Center and Thomson Elementary School during a formal celebration at the Girard Children's Community Garden. The three organizations were selected out of 800 applicants, and received $500 each that will help them purchase gardening tools, a composter and seeds, among other things.

"We're proud to once again join the NGA to recognize educators, volunteers and local government leaders dedicated to teaching America's youth about gardening and caring for the environment," White said. "Educating children early in their lives about the origins of fruits and vegetables and the importance of maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle is a good first step in the fight against childhood obesity."

Since the program's inception, more than $30,000 has been awarded to school and community gardening initiatives across the country. The grant program is part of Jamba's corporate social responsibility platform to help schools and communities engage in gardening programs that support keeping kids outdoors and active while teaching them about the importance of good nutrition and value of healthful eating.

"We salute Jamba Juice's many contributions in helping the public, especially our youth, to understand the importance of living and eating healthfully," said Joan McGlockton, the National Restaurant Association's vice president of industry affairs and food policy. "With its 'It's all About the Fruit and Veggie' program, Jamba is educating future generations not only about food, but also sustainability. The benefits of this are manifold."

The 760-unit chain raised more than $1.2 million in 2011 in support of U.S. organizations that support healthful and active living.

Top, right: Jamba Juice chairman and CEO James D. White makes the presentation of garden grants to the three organizations in Washington, D.C.

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