Kitchen Garden Program set to grow
In great news for high school kids and their families, Stephanie Alexander’s ground-breaking Kitchen Garden food education program is now available for secondary schools around Australia. To celebrate the launch, Australian high schools can win one of two membership packages and $3500 towards their own kitchen garden for 2021.
With the vision of inspiring students to form positive food habits for life, the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation has supported Australian primary schools to grow, harvest, prepare and share fresh, seasonal delicious food since its inception in 2004. The program has led to an increase in young people’s confidence in growing and cooking fresh food, with many students inspired to start growing fresh food at home.
Based on increasing demand from the kitchen garden community and evidence showing the need for this kind of program in adolescent years, expanding the program into secondary years was an obvious next step. So, in 2018, the Foundation partnered with AstraZeneca Australia under their global Young Health Programme initiative to design a pioneering program that fosters positive food habits in Australian secondary school students.
Now ready to launch, the Kitchen Garden Program for Secondary Years is the first of its kind – a curriculum-integrated garden program designed for high school students.
“My intention from day one was to develop a school-based food education program that would be enjoyable, engaging and have meaningful impact on food choices of children,” says Stephanie Alexander, founder of the Kitchen Garden Foundation. “I’m the food-lover I am today because I grew up experiencing delicious family food around a table every day. Food reflected the weather, the garden, or something special that had a story attached.”
For Alexander, these stories were as important as the food. She learnt very early that helping in the kitchen and garden always led to learning something new and interesting.
“I’m excited to see the program and its benefits expand to secondary schools,” she says. “No matter the age of the student, this program can deliver curriculum-linked rich, engaging activities that I believe will lead to better-informed, healthier food habits.”
To celebrate the launch, two secondary schools can win $3500 and a Kitchen Garden Program for Secondary Years membership package to contribute towards infrastructure for their own kitchen garden program. Simply answer: “What does your school’s dream kitchen garden program look like?”. The Kitchen Garden Foundation encourages school to involve students and include their voice in the submission – this could include a student produced video, garden design or vision board. You can read the full terms and conditions here, and secondary schools can access kitchen garden membership here. For more information about the Kitchen Garden Foundation, head to kitchengardenfoundation.org.au