Struck by the amount of malnutrition there, Houweling was moved to take action, noting the need to teach the children about nutrition and healthy eating habits.
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“I realized we could make a difference,” he said. “From there, my vision for the Seeds of Tomorrow Project was born.”
Since then, with the help from KUBO Group, industry partners and donations, a propagation greenhouse was constructed and opened on Sept. 30, 2013. Now, an abundance of vegetables are added to the daily meal program, an agriculture program has grown out of the project, and nutrition and home economic classes are taught in all of the Impact Ministry schools.
FORMER STUDENT IS HEAD GROWER
Former student, Edgar Suc, is now head farmer of the greenhouse, growing all the fruits and vegetables for the meal programs and selling the extra produce in the market.
Donations for a new commercial kitchen were raised in December 2015 through a Guatemalan themed Gala fundraiser in Ventura County, CA. The project is now feeding 1,600 children per day, with high quality food at $0.40 per meal.
It was at Casey Houweling’s encouragement that kale recently be planted, as many students are deficient in iron. Suc was determined to find kale seed, and now for the first time, the children are being served nutritious kale.
“It is wonderful to see the children eat EVERYTHING we put on their plates,” said Les Peters. “For me, seeing hungry children being fed is very emotional. I can’t imagine how they feel. They truly show their gratitude.”
Recently, two freight containers, one from Kubo Group and the other from Houweling’s Tomatoes were sent to Tactic, filled with school furniture, including desks, chairs and musical instruments for the school sites, and clothing and toys for the families.
Rain ponchos were also purchased to help keep the children dry as they walk to and from school each day.
“The staff, students and the families receiving these items were very grateful. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to bless these special people,” said Peters.
Houweling’s Tomatoes continues to fundraise for the project and raise awareness with the goal of changing the cycle of childhood hunger and malnutrition.
For more information about Impact Ministries, please visit their Web site: www.impactministries.ca or www.impactministriesusa.org.
Donations for the Seeds of Tomorrow Project supporting the daily meal costs can be made online:
US Donations: https://connect.egiving.com/seeds-of-tomorrow/impact-ministries-usa
Canadian Donations: http://www.impactministries.ca/donate-1-landing/ .
Houweling’s Group is an industry leading greenhouse vegetable grower, propagator and marketer with operations in Delta, B.C., Camarillo, CA, Mona, UT and Loveland, CO. A year-round grower, with over 200 acres of greenhouse farms, Houweling’s produces fresh and flavorful tomatoes and cucumbers sustainably.