Through their combined passions for preventative medicine and quality education, Dr. Art and Paige Mollen, M.Ed. co-founded the Mollen Foundation at a time when public schools in Arizona were significantly reducing or eliminating P.E. and recess.
In 2008, the Mollen Foundation created and launched fitness and project-based nutrition education programs in community centers and schools. While on the campus of one of their school sites in 2012, a group of passionate high school students held a protest in the school cafeteria, advocating for healthier food on campus. To end the protest, the students requested to meet with the Mollen Foundation and their collaboration began.
Working together, the high school students launched a student-led healthy snack bar with demonstrations and taste tests. This project inspired a substantial number of students to question the current food system and sparked their interest to grow their own food. This was a watershed moment essential to their programming. Growing and cooking food became integral to our programming. Students once adamantly opposed to eating vegetables consumed bowls full after one growing season. They even asked to bring home extra broccoli and Brussels sprouts! When students grow, harvest and cook their own food, they eat more vegetables, feel more connected to each other and develop an appreciation for the environment. The Mollen Foundation is committed to increasing access to fresh, affordable food and promoting healthy habits for future generations.
"The groundwork of all happiness is health"
- Leigh Hunt
Dr. Art Mollen
Paige Mollen, M.Ed.
Community Outreach Coordinator
Garfield Program Liason