In 2016 Sabra made a commitment to helping address the lack of access to affordable fresh fruits and vegetables in Food Deserts, launching Plants with a Purpose, a community initiative in August 2016. It has sprouted in 2017 to yield direct impact within the Sabra employee base and greater community to provide culinary and nutrition information and increase access. Plants with a Purpose has thrived thanks to employee contributions, volunteerism and hands-on partner relationships.
The largest Food Desert in the country for a city its size.
Employee Work-share Garden
Plants with a Purpose launched with the establishment of an organic employee workshare garden on the Sabra campus, home to our Gold LEED-certified hummus manufacturing facility in Chesterfield County, VA… which is also home to one of the most challenged areas of access in the country.
1,700 working hours have been invested in the garden
(2,300% increase over 2016)
Awareness and Education:
80 Million+ Touchpoints
Media coverage and social media conversation increased awareness about Food Deserts Hundreds of Veg-U-cation booklets were distributed through partners, providing portable vegetable information and inspiration to accompany donations
33,108+ pounds of produce donated
(vs 8,640 in 2016)
- 5,000 servings of baby carrots and hummus singles were distributed - allowing a convenient and palatable way to introduce vegetables to children
- 17,200 lbs of nutrient dense chickpeas were re-packaged into single serving bags including a recipe - reducing waste of unused raw ingredients
- 87,448 donated meals were enhanced in partnership with Feedmore
Community Planting and Impact
Transformed a vacant lot into a functional garden at local underserved High School– collaboratively planting 450 croplings with nearly 50 students. Hosted students on Sabra campus with First Lady of VA Teamed with dozens of girls at camp to plant plant radish, kale and carrots in take-home garden buckets with Girls for a Change. Cleaned a forest at NY Botanical Gardens Sponsored a student-led urban garden with Green Bronx Machine.
130 Bucket Gardens
Up-cycled, five-gallon olive buckets motivated a simple movement to plant anywhere, anyhow. When requesting a bucket, consumers through schools and Facebook received a “Garden to Go” bucket, $10 Amazon gift card for potting soil and peat moss, and a Sabra “seed packet” collateral piece.
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About Sabra's "Plants with a Purpose" program
"Plants with a Purpose," is a community engagement initiative dedicated to helping alleviate the impact of Food Deserts in the U.S. Food Deserts, as defined by the USDA, are neighborhoods and towns without ready access to fresh, healthy, affordable food (specifically fruits and vegetables).
It is estimated that more than 23 million Americans live in impacted areas.
Sabra's Plants with a Purpose initiative took root in 2016 with a pilot program in the company's backyard in Richmond and Chesterfield County, VA through the establishment of an organic employee work-share garden on Sabra's campus, home to the company’s Gold LEED certified hummus-manufacturing facility.
In comparison to areas of similar size, Richmond has been described as the largest food desert in the country. Sabra employs nearly 600 professionals at its Virginia facility. The on-site garden and associated support for community engagement, the planting of community gardens, nutrition and culinary education programming is coordinated in collaboration with Renew Richmond, a non-profit dedicated to urban agriculture in underserved Richmond, VA, communities.
In 2017, Sabra expanded its efforts through employee engagement volunteer opportunities including an Earth Day of Service at all locations and through partnerships with those addressing the needs of families in underserved areas of the Bronx, NY.
2018 saw even further growth of our Plants with a Purpose initiative, including partnerships and more than 3,000 volunteer hours with the New York Botanical Garden, Bronx Green Machine, VSU Summerseat Garden, Renew Richmond, Feedmore, the NFL and City of Orlando.
Plants with a purpose News
Sabra's Plants with a Purpose community initiative is dedicated to fighting Food Deserts, and we are accomplishing this through a groundswell of action and awareness. Below is a sample of local community partnerships and initiatives we have done so far:
- Sabra's Plants with a Purpose to support Virginia State University's Summerseat Urban Garden Project and Urban Agriculture Certification
- Urban garden created at VSU’s Summerseat
- VSU, Sabra begin work on Summerseat Urban Garden Project
- Sabra Expands Efforts to Alleviate Food Deserts, Partnering with The New York Botanical Garden to Bring "Wellness Wednesdays" to the Bronx
- George Wythe High School Students Joined by Volunteers from Sabra Dipping Company and Renew Richmond to Build On-Site Garden Tower, Plant Fall Crops
- Plants with a Purpose + Recipes for Fall Veggies
- Sabra Dipping Co. plants garden to help supply fresh produce for food deserts
- Sabra Announces Long-Term Campaign to Alleviate Impact of Food Deserts
What are food deserts? Watch VSU's Living In a Food Desert documentary to understand more about this issue.
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