Schools Rush To Sign-up For Veggie Patches Program

Posted by Josette Dunn on 21st July 2010

Australian primary schools have given a thumbs-up to McCain School Veggie Patches with a resounding response to a national callout to register for the initiative. More than 1,700 Australian primary schools have registered for the chance to earn resources for their vegetable gardens, including seeds, tools and gardening equipment.For Middle Kinglake Primary School in Victoria, the program’s gardening resources represent a way to expand the vegetable garden they are rebuilding after the devastation of the 2009 bushfires. “We lost our school in the 2009 bushfires and are in temporary buildings awaiting the completion of our new school. We have been able to re-establish some vegetable gardens and are looking forward to expanding them at our new site,” said teacher Karen Faulwetter.

Celebrity chef Pete Evans, who has joined forces with McCAIN Foods as an ambassador for the program, said the overwhelming response in the first year of the initiative shows schools are eager to equip their gardens and educate children about the origin and benefits of vegetables.

“There has been a huge response to the School Veggie Patches program, with over 1,700 primary schools already registered,” Evans said. “It’s great to see so many Australian schools on board for this program that will educate children about growing and harvesting vegetables in a fun and engaging way.”

“I’m passionate about the role food education plays for children in giving them the building blocks for making healthy food choices later in life. As a dad I’ve seen firsthand how involving kids in the garden and in the kitchen preparing meals has a positive impact on their willingness to eat and enjoy a wide range of vegetables.”

Nicki Anderson, Marketing Director, McCAIN Foods Australia and New Zealand, said the level of involvement and support from Australian schools in the first year of the program has been overwhelming. “It’s great to see that Australian primary schools are just as excited about this program as we are,” Anderson said.

“We are urging parents and the community to show their support by collecting the barcodes from McCAIN Frozen Vegetables and Purely Potato packs, and either dropping them into their local school, or posting them in to donate points that can be redeemed for seeds, tools and gardening equipment, including watering cans, gardening gloves, compost bins and water tanks.”

Schools can register until the 20th August 2010 at mccainveggiepatches.com.