Creating future change-makers is one of the goals of OzHarvest’s curriculum-aligned Food Education and Sustainability Training (FEAST) education program. Over 10 weeks, primary school students in Years 5 and 6 learn about eating healthy food, wasting less and becoming change-makers in their local communities. Like any good FEAST, it’s designed to be fun, engaging and filled with good food!
As a leading food rescue organisation, OzHarvest created FEAST from the belief that educating students is a crucial part of the fight against food waste and climate change. Recent research showed 87 per cent of Australian Year 6 students are concerned about climate change.
The FEAST program has already made a tremendous impact in schools across Australia, with over 400 schools undertaking the program – 58 per cent of these in regional or remote locations.
To ensure this important program is available to all, grant funding accessible through OzHarvest provides curriculum-aligned resources and cooking equipment to regional, remote and low-socioeconomic schools across Australia.
A positive impact beyond the classroom
Teacher feedback has revealed that over 97 per cent of students understand more about food waste after completing the program. They also have increased confidence in food preparation – and the majority actually eat more fruits and vegetables!
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.
OzHarvest FEAST Program Manager Amelia Berner said, ‘The positive impact of the FEAST program extends beyond the classroom to benefit everyone. By encouraging family, caregivers and volunteers to participate in the program, it extends skills and knowledge around food waste and contributes to building healthy, thriving, environmentally sustainable communities.’
Teacher training, kitchen kits and more
When signing up to FEAST, eligible schools have unlimited access to a 10-week curriculum package, kitchen kit for cooking in the classroom, electric frying pans, hot and cold recipe booklets, accredited teacher training and ongoing support from OzHarvest FEAST coordinators.
This teacher-led program also offers professional learning for teachers and can be adapted and changed to suit your school’s needs.
The program has received positive feedback from participating schools:
‘Students enjoyed cooking, taking turns, sharing and eating something they made themselves … Because we live rurally and not all ingredients are available in supermarkets, there were great discussions about substitutions and new creations by adding things in and taking things out.’ – Finley Public School, New South Wales.
‘The FEAST program is an extremely worthwhile education program for the whole school. The students become responsible and aware of the importance of protecting our environment and society through food waste avoidance.’ – Butchers Creek State School, Queensland.