OzHarvest’s FEAST Program Teaches Aussie Kids About Food Waste

Jun 23, 2021by Olivia - F&F

Kids all over Australia are learning how to minimise food waste with OzHarvest’s FEAST program. The Food Education and Sustainability Training (FEAST) program inspires year 5-6 students to create and eat healthy recipes — without wasting food!

Ozharvest Feast Kids Food SustainabilityOzharvest Feast Kids Food Sustainability

FEAST Is All About Food & Sustainability

FEAST is a teacher-led, project-based program that runs for 7-10 weeks, and it can be adapted to suit any school. The hands-on, practical learning style of FEAST means that kids are equipped with the knowledge of what to eat and how to eat — plus the broader impact that their food choices have on the community and planet. 

“FEAST provides teachers with the resources to teach their students important life skills in preparing healthy and delicious food and practical ways to fight food waste,” says FEAST Program Manager, Amelia Berner.

According to OzHarvest, schools also get access to online learning resources including 10 detailed lesson plans, student worksheets, videos, recipes books, the FEAST practical cooking guide, and ongoing support from the FEAST team.

OzHarvest Feast Program FoodOzHarvest Feast Program Food

Why Teach The FEAST Program?

So, why do kids need this program? Well, we have a big problem with food here in Australia — some of us have too little, and some of us waste too much.

Sadly, one child in every classroom goes to bed or school hungry every day. On the other end of the spectrum, 1 in 4 Aussie children are overweight or obese. Growing up with inadequate nutrition or too much junk food can lead to poor performance in school and extracurricular activities, like sport. 

Aside from teaching kids the basics of healthy eating, it also teaches them why we need to be cutting down on our food waste. We know that one-third of all food wasted comes from the home, so kids really need to be part of the solution!

OzHarvest Feast Program Primary SchoolOzHarvest Feast Program Primary School

The Amazing Impact of FEAST!

Since its launch in 2019, FEAST has proven to be wildly successful amongst teachers and students around Australia. The program even won itself the 2020 Banksia Sustainability Award!

OzHarvest Founder and CEO, Ronni Kahn AO, says that over 10,000 students have completed the program. “The positive feedback has been overwhelming. It’s so rewarding to see the ripple effect within the whole community as children share their new knowledge with family and friends. Our aim is to get FEAST into all Australian primary schools.”

Results of OzHarvest's FEAST ProgramResults of OzHarvest's FEAST Program

The Results Of OzHarvest's FEAST Program

Since completing the program:

  • 95% of students have increased knowledge, understanding and behaviour regarding food waste. 
  • 85% of students have increased knowledge and confidence in sustainable food preparation.
  • 75% of students reported consuming more than 2 serves of fruit and vegetables a day.
OzHarvest FEAST Program Primary SchoolOzHarvest FEAST Program Primary School

FEAST In Practice — Kids & Teachers Love It!

The FEAST program is designed to be fun, engaging and filled with good food — for both kids and teachers. For year 5 teacher and zero-waste enthusiast, Brooke Baker, the FEAST program was like a passion project! Brooke ran the program at Piara Waters Primary School in 2020, and she says the students were thrilled with the entire experience. 

“They were enthusiastic about working with and trying new foods. They loved the social act of sharing the food they had prepared and enjoyed reflecting on the recipes. They also enjoyed reporting back to me and their peers about the recipes they had replicated at home,” says Brooke.

By the end of the FEAST program, the students had created a beautiful “School Cookbook”, which was filled with healthy, low-waste recipes.

OzHarvest is doing amazing community-centred work to educate Aussies about healthy eating and food waste. For kids, the FEAST program is an awesome opportunity to create lifelong food habits that are healthy, sustainable and good for the planet!

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