Growing School Gardens, One Kids Meal at a Time

Chipotle Supports Veggie U Through Back To School Promo

SUMMARY:

This August, Chipotle Mexican Grill will ring in the school year by showing its support of classroom gardens. From August 24- 31, all proceeds from every kids' meal purchased at Chipotle locations across the nation will go back to the classroom gardens of Veggie U, a non-profit organization committed to combating the epidemic of childhood obesity by fostering educational, nutritional, and agricultural projects within local schools.

Families who purchase a kids' meal at Chipotle during that time, can then bring their receipt back to the restaurant anytime in September and receive a FREE kids' meal.

More details can be found in the release below.

RELEASE:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Chris Arnold
303.222.5912
carnold@chipotle.com

CHIPOTLE SUPPORTS VEGGIE U THROUGH BACK TO SCHOOL FUNDRAISER

Promotion to Provide up to $250,000 to Veggie U’s “Earth to Table” classroom program

DENVER, August 14, 2012 – As students return to school in the coming weeks, children in about 675 classrooms around the country will benefit from a new lesson, one about sustainable agriculture, as part of a partnership between Chipotle Mexican Grill and Veggie U. Here’s how it works: For every kids’ meal purchased at any Chipotle across the United States between August 24 and August 31, Chipotle will donate 100 percent of the proceeds (up to $250,000) to Veggie U, a non-profit organization dedicated to nutritional and sustainable agriculture in schools. Then, throughout September, customers can bring back their receipt showing the kids’ meal purchase to Chipotle for a free kids’ meal.

Under Veggie U’s “Earth to Table” program, participating schools receive a classroom grow kit which includes vegetable seeds, soil, grow lights and a worm farm, along with accompanying lesson plans for children to experience the process of planting, growing and harvesting fresh produce. The program is designed for elementary school students, as well as those with special needs.

“We are changing the way people think about and eat fast food, and that means helping people understand more about how food is grown and produced,” said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle. “Veggie U is a like-minded organization that is helping children understand where food comes from by giving them what they need to grow – and ultimately enjoy – fresh produce right in their classroom.” 

Veggie U is a non-profit children’s education program inspired by farmers, chefs and educators that teaches the importance of nutrition and sustainable agriculture to elementary students through its “Earth to Table” program. This program incorporates a classroom “garden kit,” which includes vegetable seeds, soil, grow lights and a worm farm, with accompanying lesson plans for children to experience the process of planting, growing and harvesting fresh produce. To date, more than 2,600 Veggie U classroom garden kits have been placed in 29 states, and Chipotle’s back-to-school fundraiser is helping expand Veggie U’s reach to an additional 675 classrooms.

“Chipotle’s ongoing support of Veggie U has enabled us to change the lives and futures of thousands of students across the country,” said Molly Reams Thompson, director of development at Veggie U. “The increase in childhood obesity and diabetes in our nation is nothing short of alarming, but with Chipotle’s support, our Earth to Table program is connecting more children with the food they eat, where it comes from, and how it impacts their health so we can start reversing that trend.”

Chipotle and Veggie U’s partnership began in 2010 when Chipotle sponsored Veggie U’s Earth to Table program in Toledo, Ohio. Since then, the partnership has expanded from just one school to a nationwide initiative that will provide more than 800 additional fourth-grade and special needs classrooms across the country with the ability to implement Veggie U’s Earth to Table classroom garden program. More than 24,000 students and their families will have the opportunity to participate in engaging, hands-on learning about food, sustainable agriculture and the importance of eating healthy.

About Chipotle
Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO, started Chipotle with the idea that food served fast did not have to be a typical fast food experience. Today, Chipotle continues to offer a focused menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls (a burrito without the tortilla) and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in a distinctive atmosphere. Through our vision of Food With Integrity, Chipotle is seeking better food from using ingredients that are not only fresh, but that—where possible—are sustainably grown and naturally raised with respect for the animals, the land, and the farmers who produce the food. A similarly focused people culture, with an emphasis on identifying and empowering top performing employees, enables us to develop future leaders from within. Chipotle opened with a single restaurant in 1993 and currently operates more than 1,300 restaurants. For more information, visit Chipotle.com.

About Veggie U
Veggie U is a non-profit children's education program founded in 2003 by the Jones Family of The Chef's Garden in Huron, Ohio, and was inspired by farmers, chefs and educators. The program teaches the importance of nutrition and sustainable agriculture to elementary school and special needs students by providing interactive lesson plans with a classroom garden kit.  The kit, complete with tasting vegetables, seeds, soil, root view boxes, grow lights and a worm farm gives the teacher everything needed for this hands-on program. These materials allow the student to see, hear, taste, feel and experience the process of planting, growing and harvesting a crop in their classroom. Best of all - eating the results!

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