Kiwi school program teaches children how to plant and cook vegetables

Auckland’s East Tamaki and Meadowbank schools launched a program to teach Kiwi children food literacy. Called Garden to Table, the program  is now being implemented in over 174 schools, serving an estimated 10,000 meals every week.

Oropi School in Tauranga has a Garden to Table program headed by garden specialist Heron Rickard and kitchen specialist Fotina Thompson. They said that not only the children who learn through this program, but also them. The class is divided into two groups: a garden group in charge of harvesting vegetables and composting, and a kitchen group in charge of cooking.

Oropi School will have an on-site container kitchen near the garden for easier cooperation between the gardening and cooking groups. Joanne Harland, Garden to Table programme manager, said that the program develops a connection between the children, the environment, and the food that they eat. More children are eating vegetables and are becoming healthier because of the program. Also, gardening helps the children calm down and focus more, said their teachers.

Local charities have been supporting the school’s garden. Aside from the charities, funds would be collected from parent fundraising, sponsorships, grants, and international student fees. Garden to Table trust also launches garden parties for a small fee, which will likewise go to the trust.

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