Opportunity for healthy and sustainable learning offered through OzHarvest training initiative

by Freya Lucas

November 13

OzHarvest has rolled out a new education program nationally, which may be of interest to those working in the outside school hours care (OSHC) component of the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector, to share with their school based counterparts.

 

The FEAST (Food Education and Sustainability Training) program was launched at Bellevue Hill Primary School yesterday by OzHarvest Founder and CEO, Ronni Kahn AO and Chef and TV host Colin Fassnidge.  

 

FEAST aims to inspire children to  eat healthy food, waste less and become change-makers in their local communities. Bellevue Hill Primary School was one of 42 schools across NSW that have run the program across 2019, reaching 2,500 students across the state. FEAST is now available to schools across the country.  

 

OzHarvest also offers school presentations which cater for all age groups as a great way to get students engaged in the topic, which is timely given recent National Health Survey findings which showed only six per cent of school age children ate the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables. 

 

Mr Khan explained the origins of FEAST, which was developed after identifying a gap in the curriculum for a sustainability program that addressed food waste and healthy eating. 

 

“When it comes to fighting food waste, kids are the future change-makers and are extremely passionate about protecting the planet. Like any good FEAST, it’s designed to be fun, engaging and filled with good food,” he said. 

 

Mr Fassnidge, OzHarvest’s Chef Ambassador, said that as a chef and father, he believes it is vital to teach children the value of food and the importance of not wasting it. Ifra, a student who completed the program recently said “Before FEAST came to our school, I never really cared about where the food went when I threw it out…and now I do.”

 

Schools can run FEAST for 7-10 weeks, as the program is aligned to the Australian Curriculum STEM and English Learning Areas. Aimed at Years 5 and 6, the program teaches children about sustainability, food waste and nutrition using hands-on cooking and inquiry-based learning.

 

The culmination of the program is the ‘School Cookbook’ which brings to life everything the students have learnt about food waste and healthy eating. The program encourages students to influence their whole school community by hosting a Cookbook launch and sharing their knowledge on the topic.

 

Bellevue Hill Public School Principal, Mrs Bennett said students and teachers enjoyed the interactive experience of FEAST. 

 

“Our students had great fun learning about food waste, creating their own recipes and getting stuck into the hands-on cooking activities. Interaction is a great way to get results and FEAST is a fantastic example of this,” she added. 

 

OzHarvest offers a professional learning teacher training day or an online training module that is quick and easy to complete. Those involved in the program also get online access to teacher and student toolkits, video and classroom resources, and ongoing support from the FEAST team.

 

Thanks to support from corporate and philanthropic organisations, financial support is available to help eligible schools undertake the program. For more details visit the OzHarvest website, here.

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