New research shows that about half of the UK population feel they have lost the practical skills of their grandparents’ generation with 45% admitting they have fewer cooking skills and 47% say they are less able to grow their own food.
The Food for Life Partnership works with more than 1,300 schools across England to ensure the next generation will be better equipped for the future than their parents by getting them growing and cooking in school.
Through the extensive Food for Life Partnership award scheme, schools get the guidance to transform their food culture and engage pupils, parents and the local community along the way. From Bronze, through Silver to Gold, schools set up organic gardens, cooking clubs and pupils visit farms and eat healthy, climate-friendly school dinners.
Late last month, the Food for Life Partnership launched the Food Growing Manual, which is a comprehensive growing resource, produced by one of the Partners, Garden Organic, for all schools enrolling on the Food for Life Partnership. The Food Growing Manual will enable schools to successfully develop their own gardens and produce edible crops for children, parents, teachers and communities to enjoy.
Food for Life Partnership manager at Garden Organic, Colette Bond, says:
“Teaching children to grow food puts them in touch with the land, familiarises them with the seasons and encourages healthier eating. On a wider level it also engages them with the food supply and helps them understand that food isn’t instant or ‘fast’ but that it takes time, energy and nurture to produce something edible.”
“Using the expert content of the manual, as well as the suggested activities and planting advice, we hope to develop a successful school garden, which will help the children to learn about growing their own food and eating seasonally. We also hope to use the garden to teach the curriculum and to reach out and involve everyone from staff and pupils right through to parents and the community.
The Food for Life Partnership aims to reconnect young people with growing, cooking, eating and appreciating climate-friendly, healthy and real food. Many schools in the Partnership are now using produce they have grown in their canteens, helping to make fresh, seasonal, organic produce a regular appearance on school dinner menus.
From now on, all schools signed up to the Food for Life Partnership will receive their own Food Growing Manual resource pack for free. To find out more or to enrol visit www.foodforlife.org.uk