June 2009 Recipients
One of the largest grants of $20,000.00 will help the Garden to Table Trust establish a pilot programme in primary schools where children aged seven to ten will learn to grow, harvest, prepare and share seasonal produce as part of their everyday learning.
Catherine Bell, Garden to Table Trust Chairperson, says the programme is a fun way to educate children about the environment and positively influence their food choices.
“We intend to implement the programme in three Auckland primary schools initially and then gradually roll it out to schools throughout New Zealand,” says Bell.
The Trust recognises the concern that many basic life skills aren’t being taught at home and some children don’t know where food comes from or how to cook it. The programme is a means of filling a gap for these children and developing positive life-long habits at a young age. Research has shown that food-related messages such as “good for you” or “bad for you” don’t resonate with young people, so the Trust encourages children to choose healthy food options in a fun, hands-on environment.
The programme is modeled on the successful Australian Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Programme where children spend time each week in a vegetable garden they’ve designed and in a kitchen classroom preparing meals with produce from their gardens.