Rabobank has announced a new agreement with national food education charity Garden to Table to empower tamariki across New Zealand to grow, harvest, prepare and share great food.
The partnership was officially launched at Dominion Road School in central Auckland – one of the many schools across NZ participating in the Garden to Table programme – and will enable further expansion of the programme in the years ahead.
Chief executive Todd Charteris said the partnership would build on the organisations’ shared values around sustainable food production, health and wellbeing, agri education and growing stronger communities.
“Many of us would agree that over recent decades we’ve seen a general decline in knowledge and skills in the garden and kitchen. And this decline in basic life skills is a contributing factor towards negative environmental, health and social impacts,” he said.
“These include increased childhood obesity, growing food insecurity, increased food waste, and higher instances of depression and anxiety among young people. And recent soaring food price inflation and extreme weather events across the country have only acted to further compound these problems.”
Charteris said the partnership will help address some of these issues by improving Kiwi kids’ knowledge and skills in the garden and kitchen.
Last year, more than 26,000 children and more than 250 NZ schools took part in the Garden to Table Programme preparing over a million fresh, seasonal meals.
Garden to Table sessions are 90 minutes in length with half the class in the garden and the other half in the kitchen. The sessions conclude with the class coming together for a shared meal.
“Schools involved in the programme tell us it positively impacts health, social and education outcomes and improves environmental awareness,” Garden to Table CEO Ani Brunet said.
“We also know that children participating in the sessions take their new skills home with them and look to recreate the recipes with their families. And, as a result, the programme not only benefits the kids, but also the communities they live in.”