20 years for Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation
The Sector > Provider > General News > Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation celebrates 20 years in 2024

Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation celebrates 20 years in 2024

by Freya Lucas

February 22, 2024

The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Foundation will celebrate 20 years of working to promote pleasurable food education in 2024. 


The Foundation was established in 2004 by Stephanie Alexander AO – well known Australian cook and food writer – to support children and young people in having positive and preventative health education through engaging, hands-on kitchen and garden classes.


In creating both the Foundation, and its popular Kitchen Garden program, Ms Alexander “has intuitively understood the power of values-based messaging and forged a unique approach to health promotion through pleasurable food education,” CEO Dr Cathy Wilkinson shared. 


“Pleasurable food education inspires children and young people to understand and connect with fresh, delicious food through fun, hands-on learning to empower children and young people to develop practical skills, an appreciation of seasonal produce, and a positive, confident and healthy relationship with food — for life.”


The Kitchen Garden Program originally started in primary schools following the triumph of the first Kitchen Garden Program piloted at Collingwood College in 2001. 


Over the following years, research showed that the earlier positive food relationships are normalised, the more likely children are to enjoy fresh, seasonal, delicious food – for life. 


In 2017, with support and funding from The Ian Potter Foundation, the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation began work on a groundbreaking three-year project with early childhood. 


In 2020, the Foundation officially launched the Kitchen Garden Program for Early Childhood which adapted the success, knowledge and legacy of the primary school Program, but revised it to suit the needs and aims of the early childhood sector. 


“As we celebrate 20 years of working to promote pleasurable food education, it is especially gratifying to hear and see more and more research bodies, food writers, and academics validate my approach. Appreciating and choosing fresh food and incorporating it in daily meals will lead to healthier, happier food-aware adults compared with all attempts to change habits by shaming,” Ms Alexander said.


Throughout 2024 the Foundation will celebrate Ms Alexander’s pioneering vision and the extraordinary impact the Foundation has had on over one million children, their families and broader communities. 


“Seeing my original vision flourish in gardens and kitchens of all shapes and sizes reinforces to me that pleasurable food education links students to positive health, wellbeing and sustainability practices that are even more essential now than they were 20 years ago,” she added.


Learn more about the Kitchen Garden program here

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