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 The FEAST that Canberra schools have been waiting for

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Did you know that in Australia, one in four children are overweight or obese*?

At least one child in every class is hungry when they go to bed or school each day, and half of all wasted food is coming from our homes. But we can begin to make a change today.

Oz Harvest is a for a not-for-profit organisation that strives to bring fresh produce to those in need in its communities—and it’s revolutionising the way that people feel and think about food.

Founded in 2004 by Sydney-sider Ronni Kahn, Oz Harvest is to provide fresh produce to more than 1300 charities across Australia. They do this by collecting donations of fresh produce from commercial food outlets in their communities and ‘rescuing’ food that typically goes to waste and reusing it for good.

Ronni Kahn.

Ronni started out with just one van in Sydney, delivering 4,000 meals in her first month. Oz Harvest now operates all across the country—including in Canberra—receiving 180 tonnes of food from more than 3,500 donors each week.

Now, sink your teeth into OzHarvest’s newest food movement which will kick off in Canberra during Term 1, 2020—FEAST.

Oz Harvest’s Food Education And Sustainability Training (FEAST) is an education program designed for Years 5 and 6 which will run for 7-10 weeks in participating schools.

It presents food to kids in a fun, engaging and delicious way and inspires school students to eat healthily, waste less and to make real change within their school communities and at home.

The FEAST launch. Credit: Lucy Leonardi.

FEAST informs students on food waste and the impact that it has on communities. In addition, students are provided with practical tips like how to use food that they would usually waste.

“As a chef and father of young kids, it’s vital to teach children the value of food and importance of not wasting it,” explains OzHarvest Chef Ambassador, Colin Fassnidge.

“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.”

Through the program, students in small groups work together to create their own unique recipes with the help of teachers and can showcase their hard work and new food knowledge by presenting their school cookbooks at a school assembly.

With their new findings, students can empower their schools and communities to cook and eat sustainably in the future.

Ronni Kahn and Colin Fassnidge with students from Bellvue Hill Public at the launch of FEAST.

How can you and your community get involved, you may ask? Great question.

You can help get FEAST happening in your local school easily. If you’re a parent, talk to your school about the program and if you’re an educator feeling a little daunted—don’t stress. 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. For more information see ozharvest.org/feast.

You can also read more about OzHarvest Canberra here.

Feature image: The FEAST launch. Credit: Lucy Leonardi.

*According to research cited by OzHarvest.

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