ADD347 Garden Grants in Flagships – partnership with Whole Kids

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
21 September 2015
Decision by: 
Mark Kleinman (past staff), Assistant Director of Economic and Business Policy

Executive summary

This decision seeks approval for the GLA’s Food Team to partner with the Whole Kids Foundation on a Garden Grant programme in the two Food Flagship boroughs – LB Lambeth and LB Croydon. This project will enable £42,000 of the total grant to be distributed to schools within the two flagships boroughs to carry out food growing projects over 2015/16 and 2016/17. 

The project will be fully funded by the Whole Kids Foundation but will be administered by the GLA’s Food Team. The £50,000 grant from the Whole Kids Foundation includes evaluation and project management costs. 



The Assistant Director approves:

•    Receipt of £50,000 from the Whole Kids Foundation;
•    Expenditure of up to £50,000 of this funding to deliver a Garden Grants programme to schools in two Flagship Boroughs, comprising of the award of grant funding of up to £42,000, evaluation costs of up to £3,000 and project management costs of up to £5,000.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    The Whole Kids Foundation is a non-profit organisation founded by Whole Foods Market and guided by the same values, principles, expertise and standards for quality ingredients, food production methods and nutrition. The Whole Kids Foundation supports schools and inspires families to improve children’s nutrition and wellness.

1.2    The Whole Kids Foundation has been running their Garden Grants programme in the United States for a number of years, and has provided garden and salad bar grants for thousands of schools throughout the United States and Canada.  In 2013, the Whole Kids Foundation provided their first grants to a small number of school gardens in the United Kingdom.

1.3    The Whole Kids Foundation wishes to extend their Garden Grants programme in the UK and enter into a partnership with the GLA’s Food Team to deliver grants in the two Food Flagship Boroughs over 2015/16 and 2016/17.  The Whole Kids Foundation will fund this programme (total value £50,000) of which £42,000 will be used to fund Garden Grants in schools in the two flagship boroughs of Croydon and Lambeth, £3,000 will be used for an external evaluation and £5,000 will be used to part fund the extension of a fixed term Senior Policy and Projects Officer post within EBPU.  

1.4    There will be no cost to the GLA but the GLA commits existing staffing resource to manage the programme which will include; convening a steering group, running the application process, administering the grants and commissioning an external evaluation. 

1.5    Provided the programme is successful, the Whole Kids Foundation plans to expand it in future years to more London boroughs and potentially UK wide. 

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    The main aim of the Garden Grants programme is to support schools to grow food and in year one to increase food growing in schools in the two flagship boroughs.   Food growing in schools has multiple benefits as set out by Food Growing Schools London (a programme in which the GLA is a partner) including:

•    Health: Food growing improves health and wellbeing
•    Education: Food growing in schools bears fruit
•    Community: People come together through food
•    Environment: Growing food lessens the impact of climate change

2.2    The Whole Kids Foundation and the GLA are keen to pilot the Garden Grants programme in the Flagships for a number of reasons; there is already an established framework and established relationships with the schools in these boroughs; the programme will help complement and add value to existing food growing programmes; and there will be opportunities for joint promotion of the flagships and Garden Grants programmes.   

2.3    Piloting the Garden Grants programme in the Flagships will help to meet the aim of the GLA’s Food Flagship programme – to change the whole food environment in Lambeth and Croydon.  It will complement existing food growing projects in both boroughs and help meet three of the four main objectives of the Food Flagships programme:

•    PROVISION: improve the quality of food available
•    KNOWLEDGE: increase understanding of how diet impacts health 
•    VALUES: foster a love of good food 

2.4    The Garden Grants programme will also complement and support two additional London-wide programmes in which the GLA is a partner – Capital Growth and Food Growing Schools London. 

2.5    It should be noted that the number of schools supported will be agreed as a result of the application and assessment process. 

Equality comments

3.1        The Garden Grants programme will engage with schools in the two flagship boroughs.  This project will benefit school-age people to engage them in food growing and healthy eating. The evaluation will include a demographic evaluation. 

Other considerations

Key risks and issues


Risk description

Mitigation / Risk response

Current probability (1-4)

Current impact (1-4)

RAG rating

GLA risk owner


There is no interest in the Garden Grants from schools in the Flagship boroughs

The Flagships teams in each borough already have established connections with all schools in the boroughs, helping with communication of the programme.  There are no school growing grants currently available in the boroughs but significant appetite to grow food.   The GLA is aware through work on other food growing projects of significant appetite across the capital for food growing grants




Lisa Bennett


The successful schools do not deliver the projects that the GLA and Whole Kids Foundation agree to fund on time or to budget.

The GLA’s Food Team will manage the grant funding process and funding will be dependent on delivering projects on time and to budget.




Lisa Bennett

Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities

•    Implementation of all the priorities of the Mayor’s Food Strategy: Healthy and Sustainable Food for London
•    Food-related elements of the Health Inequalities Strategy particularly on childhood obesity and food access. 
•    The London Plan, including policies on land for food, and emerging Supplementary Planning Guidance documents on lifetime neighbourhoods and access to fresh food 

Impact assessments and consultations

The GLA’s Food Team has already consulted the two Flagship Boroughs who have agreed to sit on the Steering Group and Assessment Panel for the Garden Grants programme.  The GLA has also requested that representatives from Food Growing Schools London and Capital growth are also part of this Steering Group and Panel to ensure an appropriate level of expertise. 

Financial comments

5.1    Approval is being sought for the receipt of funding of £50,000 from the Whole Kids Foundation to grant fund up to £42,000 to the two Food Flagship boroughs LB Lambeth and LB Croydon to carry out food growing projects (to be governed by funding agreement) and to incur expenditure of £3,000 for evaluation and £5,000 as part funding towards the extension of a fixed term Senior Policy and Projects Officer post within EBPU (STAF 500). 

5.2    The revenue expenditure of up to £50,000 will be incurred in 2015/16 and 2016/17 and will be funded by the Whole Kids Foundation.

5.3    Payment of grant should not proceed until adequate funds have been secured. 

Planned delivery approach and next steps



Funding Agreement between Whole Kids Foundation and GLA in place

18 September  2015

Steering group established (see below)

18 September 2015

Application form, FAQs and funding criteria finalised (building on and agreed by Whole Kids Foundation)

18 September 2015

Public announcement of Garden Grants

23 September 2015

Application opens

28 September 2015

Evaluation brief complete

19 October 2015

Evaluator appointed

27 November 2015

Application closed

27 November 2015

Assessment Panel held

w/c 14 December 2015

Applicants informed

8 January 2016

Funding letters signed by all applications

15 February 2016

Projects complete and case studies and final reports submitted by all projects

1 July 2016 (unless funding a post etc. which will be longer)

Evaluation complete

31 August 2016 (dependent on above)

Celebration event and potential launch of London-wide scheme

September 2016.

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