MontGava and Sandals Foundations take on a Community Approach to Strengthen Food Security through Farming Project 

PR – The Sandals Foundation has partnered with the MontGava Foundation to increase food security in Grenada through the procurement, installation and utilisation of a greenhouse in its newly introduced farming programme set to benefit over sixty (60) persons in the Mont Tout, Grand Anse Valley. 

The MontGava Foundation’s After School Programme caters to more than thirty (30) children, with its main programs focused on mathematics and literacy support. Since September 2023, the program’s curriculum has expanded to incorporate agriculture and seeks to create sustainable food practices through the training of students and families in farming practices, offering them the opportunity to grow food in support of the programme and the wider community.  

The initiative aims to produce crops for sale to sustain the MontGava Foundation, add to the nutrition of children under care at the MontGava After School Programme, and provide vegetable crops to feed at least twenty (20) families of children in the After School Programme. Through the inclusion of parents and residents in the training, the programme aims to foster parental engagement and community development.

Elvis Lewis, After School Administrator at the Montgava Foundation, says the greenhouse is a great solution to some of the agricultural challenges being faced by Grenada. 

“Soil conditions are not always optimal in Grenada. Therefore, irrigation and greenhouse systems are the most reliable course of action for a successful farming project. Irrigation systems allow for the sustainable watering of crops, reducing risks associated with unpredictable weather patterns and creating a stable food source. Greenhouses can help to increase production as crops are grown in a controlled environment, leading to less loss due to exposure to pests, diseases, and weather conditions,” he shared. 

This greenhouse installation follows the installation of two (2) new irrigation systems at MontGava in March 2024. 

Chairman of the MontGava Foundation, Glynis Roberts, said she is most grateful for the partnership between the MontGava Foundation and the Sandals Foundation. 

“The Sandals Foundation has officially held our hand to bring a sustainable programme to fruition. We have a vibrant after-school programme which induces academics, arts, games, and meal provision for 3 days a week. We have now added farming, and, through the planting of short crops like pigeon peas, cucumber, watermelons, lettuce and herbs, children are able to consume and share with the community and their families,” Roberts said.

“We are on a mission to improve the lives of individuals in the Mont Tout, Grand Anse Valley area. With a new irrigation system plus greenhouses, we are teaching the children to plant and eat what they grow. With the support of the Sandals Foundation in the after-school programme and the farming project, our relationship can only grow stronger as we try to better the lives in our most vulnerable communities,” she continued. 

Georgia Scarlett, Environmental Projects Coordinator at the Sandals Foundation says the project will strengthen both the minds and bodies of people in the Mont Tout, Grande Anse community. 

“The Sandals Foundation, with our longstanding partner MontGava, hopes to continue to teach children and families the importance of planting basics as they reap the results from the gardens set up both traditionally and in the greenhouse. Produce will be shared by children and families connected to the After School Programme, as well as be sold for the group to continue to change the lives of children in the community,” she said. 

“This will create meaningful moments among families as they bond over the development of a lifelong skill that not only allows them to create sustainable food sources, but helps them to lead healthier lifestyles,” Scarlett continued. 

The MontGava Foundation has served families within the Mont Tout, Grand Anse Valley community for over 30 years. The administration and volunteers of the After School Programme support the social, emotional, cognitive, and academic development of 30-40 children from age 5-14 daily.

The Sandals Foundation has been a partner of the MontGava After School Programme, providing support for the reroofing of its Centre which houses the After School Programme and acts as a shelter to the students in the community. The philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International has also had team members from the resort volunteer with MontGava to provide academic support in various subjects. 

This year, the Sandals Foundation proudly commemorates its 15th anniversary, empowering the lives of over 1.5 million people across the Caribbean region through initiatives focused on education, community development, and environmental conservation.