Gateway Greening Awarded $50,000 in “What Do You Care About Today?” Contest

Gateway Greening of St. Louis was surprised live on the NBC® TODAY Show July 7 with a $50,000 grant from the Pepsi Refresh Project for being one of four finalists in the What Do You Care About TODAY? contest.


“We thank everyone in St. Louis and across the nation for the overwhelming support we’ve seen for Gateway Greening in the What Do You Care About TODAY? contest,” said Gwenne Hayes-Stewart, executive director at Gateway Greening. “Even though we weren’t the grand prize winner, we were shocked by the generous $50,000 grant from Pepsi Refresh. It was an amazing surprise that will help us continue to provide the people of St. Louis with fresh food and more jobs.”


The winner for What Do You Care About TODAY? was the Bay Area Food Bank of Theodore, Ala., receiving the grand prize of a $100,000 grant based upon online voting. Other finalists for the contest include Urban Artwork of Seattle, Wash., and Project Surf Camp of Morro Bay, Calif. Both organizations received a $50,000 grants as well.

Nearly 700 organizations were originally nominated for WHAT Do You Care About TODAY?. The Pepsi Refresh Project has pledged $20 million in grants for the year, giving away $1.3 million each month.


The TODAY Show featured Gateway Greening’s City Seeds Urban Farm, located in the heart of St. Louis between Market and Pine at 22nd Street. The Farm produces affordable, locally grown food on underused land, provided by the Missouri Department of Transportation. Its farmers, receiving comprehensive services provided by St. Patrick Center, are homeless, near homeless, dually diagnosed with chronic addictions and mental illness and/or recently released prisoners.


The Farm combines therapeutic horticulture with jobs training to help participants gain hands-on training in a variety of desirable green industry skills including irrigation, small landscape construction projects, greenhouse seedling production and how to tend fruiting trees, shrubs, native plants and ornamentals. The farmers sell their crops at the Downtown Farmers’ Market on Thursdays and the Tower Grove Farmers’ Market on Saturdays, where they get feedback from the public. Food is also donated to emergency food providers.


City Seeds Urban Farm was established by Gateway Greening in 2006 as a Community Food Project funded by the USDA. Other collaborators on the farm include the University of Missouri Extension, St. Louis Master Gardeners, the Public Policy Research Center of University of Missouri—St. Louis, Operation Food Search, the Meramec Horticulture Department of St. Louis Community College, the Missouri Botanical Garden, the Missouri Department of Transportation and the Department of Conservation.


In addition to the urban farm, Gateway Greening supports 200 community and youth gardens across the St. Louis area by providing the resources and knowledge that enable them to develop food producing gardens and landscaped areas on under-used or abandoned land.


About Gateway Greening

Gateway Greening is a non-profit organization celebrating 26 years of promoting urban neighborhood vitality and stability, healthy living and quality of life through community food projects, education and wellness programs and civic greening.

Gateway Greening forms alliances with non-profit organizations, faith based institutions, institutions of higher learning and neighborhood groups to provide resources for citizen-managed open spaces that encourage healthier, safer and more enriched lives. Gateway Greening provides the resources and knowledge that enable them to develop food producing gardens and landscaped areas on public land. Gateway Greening also works with area schools and institutions of higher learning to bring gardening programs into the classroom; educating children on the wonders of gardening.

For more information on Gateway Greening and its programs visit www.gatewaygreening.org   or call 314-588-9600.