Paso del Norte Health Foundation awards us a new nutrition grant

Preschool child enjoys healthy fresh food during a nutrition lesson led by Border Partners in his classroom. (File photo)

Border Partners was one of 15 groups in our region receiving a grant under the Paso del Norte Health Foundation’s new program called “Healthy Eating.” We were excited to recently hear this news. This one-year grant will enable our staff to work closely with the schools in Palomas to create an improved, healthy school environment. The grant will focus on nutrition and gardening education, on-site greenhouses, and nutritious meals for students.

Border Partners has done some nutrition education over the past years for many different groups. But we’ve never worked with the focus that this new grant will allow. Each class at every grade level (770 students, K-12) will participate in eight class sessions. Each class session will present a nutrition topic suited for their age and taught by Border Partners’ staff over this next school year.

Each school will have its own greenhouse to grow fresh, healthy vegetables for their students’ lunches. There will be sessions with students in the greenhouses so they learn how to grow vegetables. Each classroom will have a container garden so they can watch plants grow every day. Cooks at the schools will also benefit from sessions with our staff on ways to incorporate the vegetables from the greenhouses into their menus.

We’re training for this work now.  Currently, Border Partners’ staff are learning from professional nutritionists and are preparing lesson plans and materials to use with the students in the classes.

We’re, of course, very grateful to the Paso del Norte Foundation for this new opportunity to improve health in Palomas. Their grants to our programming over the last eight consecutive years have helped us grow our programs and build capacity. We’re confident that this new effort will improve overall health in Palomas, as we help children form habits that will benefit them for a lifetime.