45,000 children to learn to grow their own food at school

Wed, 15 Feb 2017
sow

GIY and innocent drinks team up to launch the sixth annual Sow & Grow initiative. The project will enable 45,000 primary school children across the country to learn how to grow their own food this spring.

Primary schools across Ireland can now apply for a free Sow & Grow pack to be delivered to their school via https://innocentsowandgrow.com/. This year the pupils will learn how to grow cress, baby carrots and runner beans. Each Sow & Grow pack includes a detailed ‘how to grow’ guide focusing on learning in the classroom, soil, growing pots, seeds and expert food growing kits devised by GIY and innocent drinks along with details on how to cook and eat the food grown.

Along with announcing the 2017 Sow & Grow initiative, the Founder of GIY Michael Kelly also revealed statistics from a household survey carried out by Behaviour & Attitudes Ireland, on behalf of the team behind ‘Sow & Grow’.

99% of parents believe it is valuable for kids to learn how to grow food

Speaking about the recent survey Michael said, “At GIY we know just how important it is for kids to learn about growing food from an early age and the benefits that learning those life skills offer, therefore we wanted to carry out some independent research to see what the parents and children think. We were thrilled to hear that 99% of those surveyed believe it is valuable for kids to learn how to grow their own food and also that 49% of those surveyed have grown some food at home.

It is however worrying to see that 29% of children are not eating enough fruits and vegetables daily and that 14% of the children surveyed don’t understand where their food comes from. There is still a lot of work to be done and that is why initiatives such as ‘Sow & Grow’ are so important.

One of the most important steps our Government could take to get children healthy is to put food on the curriculum – this research shows that parents want this to happen and understand how beneficial it would be.”

GIY

Over the last five years this initiative has enabled 100,000 Irish primary school children learn how to grow vegetables in the classroom. The children not only learn the science of growing, they also experience the joy of growing and eating their own food. GIY calls this “Food Empathy” a deeper connection with food, which is proven to lead to a healthier life long-term. This campaign has been so impactful that GIY and innocent are also rolling the project out across a quarter of all primary schools in the UK.

sow_and_grow_launch

Sow And Grow project at Scoil Thomáis in Castleknock in Dublin are 2nd class students, from left, Georgia Moran (8), Kayla O’Gorman (7) and Niamh Race (7).

‘Sow & Grow’ will encourage a knowledge of where food comes from, teaching children through a fun, free, learning experience just how easy it is to grow their own greens and enjoy the taste of their own food. It will also drive engagement as once schools are registered they can share their growing journeys online via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and using #SowAndGrowIE . For every school that does, they receive a Sow & Grow certificate but the most engaged or the ‘best’ Sow and Grow school will win a trip to Bloom in the Park for their class and €500 worth of growing equipment for the school. The winning school will be presented with their prizes at Bloom, where they might be lucky enough to meet the President. Two runner up prizes of a €400 and a €300 GIY voucher are also up for grabs.

School teachers can apply for a free Sow & Grow pack via https://innocentsowandgrow.com/. (Packs are limited, so be quick.) The lucky entrants will then get their pack delivered to their school over the coming weeks.

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