This September, the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation is celebrating kitchens and gardens across Australia, fostering a generation of young people who know the unique joy of growing, harvesting, preparing, and sharing delicious meals, with its inaugural Kitchen Garden Month.
The Kitchen Garden Program runs in over 1000 schools and services across Australia, including early childhood, primary and secondary schools, teaching children and young people to grow, harvest, prepare and share fresh, seasonal, delicious food.
The program delivers a fun, hands-on, fully developed framework to early childhood services, primary and secondary schools of all sizes. It’s positive and preventative, delivers wellbeing and sustainability benefits, and has proven impact beyond the school or service gate to families and communities.
The theme of Kitchen Garden Month is ‘Start small, dream big’, highlighting that schools of all sizes can get involved – in fact, a simple kitchen trolley and set of garden pots is all that’s needed!
The Foundation’s purpose is to help children develop positive food habits for life. The World Health Organization recognises schools as effective health promotion settings, and evidence suggests that eating habits, lifestyle and behaviour patterns adopted during childhood endure and can have a significant influence on health and wellbeing in later life.
To mark Kitchen Garden Month, the Foundation has published a report detailing the Program’s impact. Australian children are more at risk than ever due to overlapping crises of pandemic and natural disasters, which have contributed to an increase in childhood obesity, mental health issues, school disengagement and a decrease in physical activity. The evidence suggests that children are on track to live shorter lives than their parents.
“Our report found over a million children, their families and broader communities have benefitted since the Foundation was established,” said CEO of the Foundation Dr Cathy Wilkinson. In addition, over 97% of teachers said that the Program aids learning across other subject areas. The Program is linked to the Australian Curriculum and supports cross-curriculum learning in STEM, along with development outcomes such as cultural studies, health, and physical education.
During Kitchen Garden Month, the Foundation is dishing up delicious seasonal recipes, facilitating a free webinar for schools and services interested in learning more the Program, hosting a pasta party and celebrating the release of Stephanie Alexander’s 18th cookbook Fresh.
Everyone is invited to get involved in the celebrations by posting their spring kitchen or garden moment using #KitchenGardenMonth.
For more information visit www.kitchengardenfoundation.org.au and @kitchengarden_foundation on Instagram.
CEO, Dr Cathy Wilkinson is available for interview.
To arrange interviews, please contact
Louise Gray, 0431 566 704, firstname.lastname@example.org
Emma O’Halloran, 0467 688 600, email@example.com
Images are available.