The Sandals Foundation advanced its food security mission by planting close to 1,000 food-bearing trees under its “Trees for Life” campaign.
In honor of Earth Day, the Sandals Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Sandals Resorts International (SRI), invited resort guests across its Caribbean portfolio to join in planting close to 1,000 food-bearing trees in a single day. Taking place April 21, the large-scale tree planting event further supported the Foundation’s year-long mission of regional food security to ensure the continued presence of local produce in schools and communities for future generations. Coined “Trees for Life,” the campaign also invited web donations through April 22.
“Sustainably increasing food and agricultural production is critical to ensuring the presence of fresh local foods for our Caribbean communities for years to come,” said Heidi Clarke, Executive Director of the Sandals Foundation. “The Trees for Life campaign represents our continued pledge to environmental protection as a company, while empowering Caribbean communities with the tools and natural resources to meet their nutritional needs.”
During the planning phases of the activation, the Foundation had set a goal of planting 500 trees.
An overwhelming effort by Sandals and Beaches Resorts Team Members to rally members of the community allowed the organization to almost double that goal.
Taking 1,000 steps forward, the “Trees for Life” campaign builds on the tree planting milestones of years past. In 2021, the Sandals Foundation ambitiously pledged to plant 10,000 trees throughout the Caribbean, not only quickly achieving that goal, but expanding on it by an additional 10,000 trees in 2022. With a total of 16,284 of 20,000 trees planted, the trajectory towards meeting its second pledge continues through Earth Day’s “Trees for Life” campaign.
The food-bearing plants represent an authentic Caribbean selection – soursop, guava, avocado, cherry, plantain, and banana – purchased from local forestry departments and nurseries. Blossoming in a span of two years, trees were strategically placed in community-accessible areas and schools to provide food resources for surrounding students, families, and locals alike.
Further investing in Caribbean agriculture, Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts source up to 90% of its food supply locally. In recent years, the resort brands have made various contributions to Caribbean food producers, donating equipment to the Agricultural Training College in Barbados, constructing hydroponic units and facilitating training at Antigua’s Gilbert Agricultural and Rural Development Center, and establishing community composting practices with resorts. Further, the Foundation has supported the Grenada Network of Rural Women Producers (GRENROP), a group of 65 local women and at-risk youth charting their financial independence through agriculture.
Guests traveling to Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts can play an active role in supporting the food security efforts of the Sandals Foundation any day of the year by “packing for a purpose” and bringing along up to five pounds of story or activity books that cover the themes of healthy eating, gardening, and the importance of trees.
Earth Day donations may still be made by visiting https://www.sandalsfoundation.org/donation and choosing “Trees for Life” in the drop down menu, with each $20 contribution resulting in the planting and maintenance of one food-bearing tree.
MEDIA CONTACT: 1-888-SANDALS, [email protected]