As part of its mission of education, Mars launched the Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Chocolate History Research Grant in 2013 to encourage a deeper discovery into the influence of chocolate on global heritage and culture. A minimum of $50,000 in grant funds are awarded every year.
This year the Heritage Chocolate Society proudly announced the grant winners for 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Read more about the winners and how they plan to use their grants.
The Fort will soon begin culinary history programming within the historic fort as well as in the newly restored 1826 National Historic Landmark building, the Pavilion. The grant will fund its hands-on chocolate culinary experience that will go beyond period cooking demonstrations. Guests of all ages will engage interactively with how chocolate was supplied to troops and tourists at the fort, global trade and economics and the real taste of chocolate through the centuries.
Once the family home to generations of the Lee Family, Stratford Hall will use its grant to support its research, publications, programs as well as an exhibit related to the production and consumption of chocolate at the historic plantation. Stratford Hall has a unique story to tell and this chocolate exhibit will use multimedia to share the exotic ingredients, delicate skills and start of America’s love of chocolate at the plantation.
Friends of Lower Fort Garry
The Friends of Lower Fort Garry plan to use its grant to fund experiential programming that investigates the food histories of British Columbia forts with a focus on chocolate. Visitors will learn the history of chocolate in medicinal usages, desserts and historic menus, celebratory toasts and drinks as well as recipes during the fur-trade era. The grant will also support the creation of a historic and artistic reproduction of the Made Beaver coin using HERITAGE® Chocolate.
Michigan State University Extension
Michigan State University Extension will use its grant to create 15 Chocolate Culture and Creativity kits. Each kit will contain lessons, activities, and supplies for over 12 hours of chocolate education for over 50 youth. Additionally, the grant will reach over 750 youth in the 4-H SPIN (special interest) club format by funding the enhancement and expansion of Michigan 4-H’s current Chocolate, Culture and Creativity programming.
George Washington’s Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association
This grant for Mount Vernon Ladies Association will be used to create professional development workshops and field trips designed to reach 40 teachers and 600 students in the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). A unit entitled Chocolate and Trade: The Americas will be developed in collaboration with DCPS to support and enhance the current 6th-grade social studies curriculum. Students will learn the history of chocolate, 18th-century trade routes, historic chocolate-making techniques as well as George Washington’s chocolate consumption.
We’re thrilled for these organizations to uncover and share the global influence of chocolate throughout the coming year. Interested in applying for the 2021 Forrest E. Mars Jr. History Research Grant? Stay tuned for more information!