AUSTIN (AP) – Whole Foods Market Inc. is launching a charitable organization that aims to provide children with access to healthy foods.

The natural and organic grocery chain, based in Austin, said its Whole Kids Foundation, will work with schools, educators and other organizations to help improve children’s food choices.

The foundation’s first initiative is a program to help put in place or expand teaching gardens to help build children’s relationships with food through the power of gardening.

“We are excited to formalize our commitment to improving childhood nutrition and wellness through our new Foundation,” said Walter Robb, the company’s co-CEO and chairman of the foundation. “By collaborating with schools and parents, we believe we can increase fruit and vegetable consumption both at schools and at home and make a significant contribution in the fight against childhood obesity.”

Whole Foods has worked on healthy foods initiatives before, such as programs to improve school lunches and partnerships with schools that it will continue under the foundation.

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