Purple Asparagus educates children, families and the community about eating that’s good for the body and the planet. Through exploration and discovery, we inspire a lasting love of delicious nutritious foods.
Purple Asparagus envisions a world where every child, every family and every community enjoys good health and a healthy planet through a diet high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
We provide education and inspiration for those in our community with access to delicious and nutritious foods to help them make better choices and explore the exciting world of healthy eating.
We advocate for those in our community without access to delicious and nutritious foods and fight for the access, equity and opportunity for every individual to live a delicious nutritious life.
Just as we celebrate the amazing diversity of flavors, textures, tastes and colors in the fruits and vegetables we teach children and families about eating every day, we celebrate the diversity of the people in our community, today and every day.
Purple Asparagus is changing the future …one bite at a time, for everyone.
“He’s a very picky eater and is wary of trying new foods. He loved Purple Asparagus day and would look forward to it each month.
He loved talking about the foods he tried. For him, I think the program took away his fear of trying new foods, which was a big hurdle for us.”
– Purple Asparagus Parent
Purple Asparagus teaches thousands of children across Chicagoland how important and exciting it is to eat fruits and vegetables every day.
With the generous support of our partners, donors and sponsors, we have reached more than 10,000 elementary age students and their families since 2010. Amazing, right!?
Well, it gets better…
Our program fights obesity, promotes heart health, and decreases the risk for type 2 diabetes by teaching kids the importance of eating fruits and vegetables in a way that is fun and memorable. Our new Little Spears then in turn inspire their families to explore new foods by preparing our delicious, nutritious recipes at home.
So, Purple Asparagus isn’t just helping local kids and families today; we are building a future of healthy and adventurous eaters for a lifetime.
Our work has a lasting impact on the lives of Chicago’s youth and their families.
Check out our latest video to hear directly from Audrey and Lazaria, two wonderful Little Spears who are now sixth graders at National Teachers Academy in the Near South Side.
They have both continued their adventurous love of fruits and vegetables into young adulthood.
There are lots of ways you can help to educate children, families and the community about eating that’s good for the body and the planet.
Every financial gift is important to us.
Whether it’s a one-time contribution or a monthly sustaining gift, every dollar will help us reach more kids and their families.
Giving your time and talent to help kids and families in Chicago learn about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables every day will have a lasting impact on the future.
Do you have an adventurous spirit, a love of eating healthy fruits and vegetables, and a passion for serving our community?
Join our team!
BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
Melissa Graham, Executive Director of the Board
Founding CEO, Purple Asparagus
Michael Levy, Chair of the Board
Associate General Counsel, Ingredion Incorporated
Jennifer M. Jahn, Secretary of the Board
Investment Admin Dept Manager, JMG Financial Group, Ltd.
Matt Ralph, Treasurer of the Board
Transaction Advisory Services Analyst, Duff & Phelps
Controller, Chapman and Cutler LLP
Retired Executive Professional
Internal Communications Manager, Mars Food North America
T. Alexis Owens
President & CEO, Ventures UnLimited Inc.
Regional Technology Coordinator - Midwest Region, Whole Foods Market
Danielle Calderone Watts
Commercial Lead, Evolv Group at Kraft Heinz
We CHANGE LIVES with a little help from our friends!
John Barry Elementary School
Belding Elementary School
Lyman A Budlong Elementary School
Jonathan Burr Elementary
Cesar E Chávez Multicultural Academic Center
Dewey School of Excellence | AUSL
Euclid Elementary School
Horace Greeley Elementary School
Helge A Haugan Elementary School
Indian Grove Elementary School
Rufus M Hitch Elementary School
Leslie Lewis Elementary School | AUSL
Manierre Elementary School
National Teachers Academy | AUSL
Polaris Charter Academy
A N Pritzker School
Prussing Elementary School
The Lumpkin Foundation
Polka Dot Fund
Dr. Scholl Foundation
Mars Food North America
Little Owl Fund
The Sumac Foundation
Swedish Covenant Hospital
Tracy Family Foundation
WellCare Health Plans, Inc.
Chicago Children's Wellness
Matt's Veal Parm
Purple Asparagus is fortunate to also have numerous generous individuals who give of their time, talent and treasure to support our mission to educate children, families and the community about eating that’s good for the body and the planet.
THANK YOU for your continued support!
Purple Asparagus is committed to diversity and inclusion…
…both on our plates and in our communities.
Salty, sour, sweet… Oh My! At Purple Asparagus, every flavor, texture, taste and color has a place on our plate. As we lead our Little Spears on taste adventures through the exciting world of fruits and vegetables, we celebrate the amazing diversity of the foods we eat, and the people we meet, in a way that is engaging, meaningful and fun for everyone.
Purple Asparagus embraces every individual in every family and community, and we pride ourselves in inspiring people of all ethnicities, cultures, genders, religions, sexual orientations, income levels and viewpoints to become engaged with Purple Asparagus and to fall in love with delicious, nutritious foods.
In collaboration with several community-based health and social justice partners, Purple Asparagus seeks to improve the health of all of Chicago’s children and provides programming to groups large and small, regardless of race, religion, color, location, ability, access and/or means.
We provide education and inspiration for those in our community with access to delicious and nutritious foods to help them make better choices and explore the exciting world of healthy eating; and we advocate for those in our community without access to delicious and nutritious foods and fight for the access, equity and opportunity for every individual to live a delicious nutritious life.
Purple Asparagus is changing the future… one bite at a time, for everyone.