A better future through food

When you think about it, most of what we do as people centres on food, it’s essential for life and how it is produced and consumed has huge implications for our future.
Nov 19, 2019

When you think about it, most of what we do as people centres on food, it’s essential for life and how it is produced and consumed has huge implications for our future.

OzHarvest is hoping to instill good food habits with its launch of a new education program called FEAST (Food Education and Sustainability Training). The curriculum aligned education program inspires kids to eat healthy food, waste less and become change-makers in their local communities.

The 2018 FEAST pilot program trained 15 teachers and educated 384 students at four Western Sydney primary schools: Narwee Public School, Beverly Hills North Public School, Belmore South Public School and Lakemba Public School.

Afterwards 97% of students said they had a good understanding about food waste and its impact on their community and the environment and 96% said they knew how to follow a recipe and felt confident preparing and cooking food. Students also loved the classroom cooking activities and said they would like to cook more.

Bellevue Hill Primary School was one of 42 schools across NSW that have run the program this year, reaching 2500 students across the state.

Students at Bellevue Hill Primary School joined OzHarvest Founder and CEO, Ronni Kahn AO and Chef and TV host Colin Fassnidge, to celebrate the national roll-out of FEAST.

Kahn said FEAST 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! Ultimately, we hope it will help achieve our vision to build a world with zero food waste and free of hunger. “

OzHarvest Chef Ambassador, Colin Fassnidge put his stamp of approval on the program. “As a chef and father of young kids, it’s vital to teach children the value of food and importance of not wasting it. FEAST is a fun way to learn about food waste, it inspires creativity as students invent their own recipes.  It’s such a good way to get kids cooking and eating heathy food! It really is an essential ingredient for all schools.”

Schools can run FEAST for 7-10 weeks and is aligned to the Australian Curriculum STEM and English Learning Areas. Aimed at Years 5 and 6, the program teaches kids 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 the Stage 3 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.”

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

Financial support is available to help eligible schools undertake the program. For details or to register your school to run FEAST visit ozharvest.org/feast

Photo by Lucy Leonardi