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North Carolina first lady to announce $44,000 in grants to schools and YMCAs statewide

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MT. OLIVE, Duplin County - North Carolina first lady Kristin Cooper will visit North Duplin Junior Senior High School in Mt. Olive today, September 18, to grant awards from United Health Foundation and Whole Kids Foundation totaling $44,000 to schools and YMCAs statewide.

North Duplin Junior Senior High School, a grant recipient, will help launch the initiative with a groundbreaking of its new vegetable garden. The school will serve as host for a roundtable discussion about health challenges facing North Carolina, featuring health and education leaders.

22 schools and YMCAs will receive $2,000 each to build or expand an existing vegetable garden and provide educational resources about agriculture, caring for the environment and maintaining healthy lifestyles. The United Health Foundation and Whole Kids Foundation's initiative supports nutrition education statewide.

The details about the event are as follows:

WHO: First lady of North Carolina Kristin Cooper UnitedHealthcare Representative Whole Kids Foundation President and Executive Director Nona Evans School Principal Brockton Ahrens Students/ FFA chapter officers at North Duplin Junior Senior High School WHEN: Monday, Sept. 18 10-10:15 a.m. garden groundbreaking 10:15-11 a.m. roundtable WHERE: North Duplin Junior Senior High School 1388 W NC 403 Hwy., Mt. Olive, N.C., 28365 WHY: Studies show school gardening, combined with a healthy lunch program or nutrition education, encourages healthier food choices, and children are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables they have grown themselves. Duplin will use its grant to construct three new raised garden beds, a pollinator and native bird habitats.

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