Making Connections with the Growing a Better Future program

woman pouring water over plantings
woman pouring water over plantings

The Foresters Growing a Better Future sustainability program continues to expand, and it was another successful year of educational and impactful opportunities for members. Foresters funded 15 Grow it Forward volunteer garden projects across Canada, the US and the UK totaling $45,000 with our partners at Whole Kids/Whole Cities Foundation. We tested a new member experience by offering 150 Pick Me Up cleanup kits and 400 Let’s Get Growing microgreen kits to members across North America, both of which have seen a phenomenal response. In September 2023, we created a food forest at Hull Services in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, which will produce food and a therapeutic space for decades to come.

Throughout 2023, we continued to offer the Growing a Better Future educational connection-themed webinar series – which has drawn in almost 400 member households so far this year. Our partnership with the Whole Kids/Whole Cities Foundation helped us create the winter, spring and summer webinars, as well as the January Eating Your Way to Optimal Health webinar with the dynamic, authoritative nutrition expert Dr. Akua Woolbright facilitating and connecting the dots between how we eat and how we feel. Dr. Akua shared plenty of no-nonsense, empowering advice to get Foresters members’ year off to a healthy start. The mantra she shared felt like a cheer that delighted attendees and is likely still helping members make healthy food choices – “Whole-foods, plant-based, with lots and lots of colour!” Five lucky member participants were selected to receive a boost for their health journey – a Vitamix blender and recipe book!

The April webinar expanded on the connection between how we eat and how we feel to the level of community with a Food for All – How Healthy Communities Take Root panel discussion. A dynamic group of experts in community and school food programs from the Whole Kids/ Whole Foods Foundation network gathered to discuss the physical, mental, and emotional effects food has on us and how we can support food access efforts. Foresters members asked insightful questions and shared how inspiring the discussion was, including considering how they could use their Foresters Care™ and Community Volunteer grants to make a difference in their own communities. Member participants received artisan strawberry jam and honey from Bonton Farms in Texas, which helps support the great local work toward food access.

The end of summer means back to school and busy routines. The August webinar – Cooking up Health with Common Threads – aimed to build the connection between our desire to eat healthy, delicious food with how confident and capable we feel preparing it at home, especially when life is busy. Chef Jared Batson wowed member participants with professional chef tips and advice, all while preparing a delicious Spanish Tortilla with Sunflower Seed Romesco that left everyone excited to prepare it at home. Following the virtual activity, all participants received a Prep and Go Salad Container from OXO to make it even easier to eat healthy on the go.

At Foresters, we work to align each Growing a Better Future webinar with the season it’s taking place in; with the fall webinar, we aimed for a reflective, big-picture and gratitude-inspiring experience. The October Cultivating Optimism and Your Eight Forms of Wealth webinar, featuring Rob Avis of Verge Permaculture and 5th World, was a thought-provoking and empowering discussion about all the reasons we must be optimistic about the future, how to evaluate the resources available to us and how to create our own opportunities to help our families, communities and the world thrive together.

Foresters Growing a Better Future program offerings lead with education and impact taking center stage. We hope to offer interesting, engaging and empowering opportunities, inviting new perspectives, ideas and practical tools that members can use to enrich their family’s well-being. The Member Engagement team is available to support members in making the most of their Foresters member benefits, for example, the member granting program, Foresters Go™ and member leadership opportunities, which in turn improve community well-being.

To receive support turning your great idea into an activity that helps grow a better future, we are here to help. We invite you to connect with us at

422651 CAN/US (10/23)


Descriptions of member benefits that you may receive assume that you are a Foresters Financial member. Foresters Financial member benefits are non-contractual, subject to benefit specific eligibility requirements, definitions and limitations and may be changed or cancelled without notice or are no longer available.

Foresters Financial, Foresters, Foresters Care, Foresters Moments, Foresters Renew, Helping is Who We Are, Foresters Go and the Foresters Go logo are trade names and trademarks of The Independent Order of Foresters (a fraternal benefit society, 789 Don Mills Road, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M3C 1T9) and its subsidiaries.

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