Give back by growing: a workplace gardening triple win 

  • March 31, 2021
  • |
  • Bridget Rathsack

In 2007, a trio of employees at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota sought permission to dig up a section of lawn around the corporate headquarters in Eagan, putting their green thumbs to use and starting a garden. But this was no ordinary garden. These employees created a community giving garden on Blue Cross’ property to provide fresh fruits and vegetables for a local shelter and food shelf.

Fast forward to now, and more companies across the Twin Cities have joined the effort to grow produce on corporate campuses and give back. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 was a banner year. In total, the Blue Cross giving gardens produced more than 1,500 pounds of produce that was donated to local food shelves. The project is good for the environment, boosts morale through volunteering and helps those in need.

“The Blue Cross Giving Garden has been such a long-term success because it engages our associates in a way that leverages their skills and interests. It also drives social impact forward on one of the greatest racial and health equity issues in our community – access to healthy food,” said Susan Schuster, Principal Community Relations Consultant at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota.

Interested in getting started at your business? Join Blue Cross to hear from Magda Surrisi, co-founder of the first Blue Cross giving garden:

Twin Cities Corporate Giving Garden Spring Garden Summit
Wednesday, April 7
9:00 a.m.
Register >>

All companies, large and small, are welcome to attend. You’ll learn tips and tricks to make your own worksite giving garden a success. Happy growing!

Learn more about Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota’s work in the corporate giving garden case study of our Circularity Toolkit. Our Circularity Toolkit highlights ways that organizations are advancing circular economy principles in their work and operations – join us in the effort to move towards circularity and sustainability.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota is a member of the Sustainable Growth Coalition, a group of nearly 30 businesses and organizations convened by Environmental Initiative to advance the next frontier of corporate sustainability — the circular economy.