McCain School Veggie Patches program planted for a second year

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 19th April 2011

The McCain School Veggie Patches program will officially open for registrations on 27 April 2011 for the second consecutive year, McCain Foods Australia and New Zealand announced today.

Launched in May 2010, the McCain School Veggie Patches program helps primary school children learn about the origin and benefits of vegetables by planting and growing vegetables in their own school yard. McCain described the first year of the program as “a huge success”, with more than 2,700 schools taking part.

Already, more than 600 schools across Australia and New Zealand have confirmed their interest in participating in the program this year.  and New Zealand says the educational program will be even bigger and better in 2011:

“McCain Foods is passionate about playing a role in food education for children, which is why the McCain Schools Veggie Patch Program is all about promoting a healthy lifestyle in a fun learning environment,” said McCain Foods Australia’s Marketing Director, Nicki Anderson.

“This year we will also be awarding four ‘Helping Hand Grants’ to disadvantaged schools in need, so that more schools can be involved. Each Grant will contain a starter pack worth RRP$1,200 to give that school a boost to get their Veggie Patch started.”

Director of Food and Nutrition Australia and dietician Sharon Natoli said the program was popular with children and parents alike.

“Children are more likely to eat vegetables if they are involved in the process of growing, harvesting, cooking, and even buying vegetables. For this reason, the McCain School Veggie Patches program is particularly popular with parents trying to get their kids to eat more veggies.”

The McCain School Veggie Patches program was nominated by parents in The Parents Jury FAME Award for Parents’ Choice 2010 – an award that recognises campaigns promoting healthy eating to children.

The Veggie Patch program will also take to the road in 2011 with the first McCain Red Truck Tour of Australia. The McCain grower will travel to regional and metropolitan centres over a six week period, educating students on growing fresh produce.