Garden to Table is bringing a positive, curriculum-linked food education programme to primary schools in NZ, teaching gardening and cooking.
Delivering a food education programme connecting the land, its care and potential; the food we harvest, its variety and versatility; the socialisation associated with gardening, cooking and eating food. The philosophies of sustainable practices, healthy eating, class participation and hands-on learning, and local engagement from volunteers, families and community, empower children to make informed food choices in the future.
The programme is currently operating in 35 primary schools around the country - with close to 3000 children every week harvesting, preparing and sharing the food they grow; taking the learning back into the classroom with curriculum links, and working with volunteers, community groups and families, supported by local and national suppliers and sponsors.
Garden To Table recognises that many children are disconnected from nature and their food supply, do not recognise common vegetables and know little or nothing about where food comes from or how to cook it. By connecting “grow, harvest, prepare and share”, the ‘in-school’ programme is designed as a practical response to improving food literacy from the ground up.
Key Philosophies include:
• Building children’s future through food education
• Teaching the life skills of gardening and cooking in a practical, hands on learning environment
• Making food a positive part of children’s lives
• Putting the school at the heart of the community by involving children, parents, volunteers, local families and businesses
• Fostering environmental awareness
The Trust now supports 35 schools to connect over 3000 children per week with the land and its food – developing knowledge and skills, encouraging communication and sharing and building awareness of healthy food choices and personal and community resilience. The programme not only teaches garden and cooking skills for life but also empowers children to make informed food choices in the future.
Obesity and eating habits of New Zealanders are rarely out of the headlines, and there is much advice available about healthy eating, and calls for legislation to manage food choices. This programme is a practical initiative focused on educating children on food choices that they can make and teaching skills to act on that knowledge, in a positive, encouraging environment, providing them with option to bring change for themselves and their families. As well, the learning draws in the needs of the environment for food to grow - recycling, seasons, varieties and caring for the soil.
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