National School Feeding programme, Brazil
Under Brazilian law, access to school meals is a universal right. Brazil’s National School Feeding programme has been in operation since the 1950s but has transformed and expanded in recent decades. In 2009, the Brazilian government made it a legal requirement to source at least 30 percent of produce for school meals from rural, family farms. The program is considered one of the largest and most comprehensive school nutrition programs in the world, supplying approximately 43 million students with one or more servings of healthy, culturally appropriate food per day in almost 250,000 schools across the country. According to the FAO, the program is improving the health of millions of young people, reducing school absenteeism, and guaranteeing a market for 120,000 family farmers across Brazil.
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Strengthening School Feeding programs, multiple countries
Following the success of Brazil’s school feeding program, the FAO partnered with the Brazilian government to replicate the program in 13 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean. Strengthening School Feeding programs works to build sustainable schools through the adoption of healthy and adequate school meals, the implementation of educational school gardens, infrastructure improvements made to kitchens, dining halls, and storage rooms, and the direct purchase of local family farm products. The program works with schools to develop a unique nutritional plan based on students’ nutritional status, socioeconomic situation, and the knowledge and practices of household food consumption. Food is purchased from local family farms, which helps to ensure dietary diversity and respect for cultural food preferences while simultaneously promoting local economic development.
The Agricultural School of Fundación Cristo Vive Bolivia (FCVB), Bolivia
The Agricultural School of Fundación Cristo Vive Bolivia (FCVB) provides personal and professional development around agriculture to young people. Based in Cochabamba, Bolivia and supported by the Louis Dreyfus Foundation, the agricultural school is part of a technical college that was founded in 2006. The school provides agricultural education, practical agricultural skills, and management training.
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Australian Organic Schools, Australia
Australian Organic, formerly Biological Farmers of Australia, is the largest organic industry body in Australia. Their Organic Schools program helps schools establish and maintain organic gardens with educational units that include, garden planning, soil health, planting, mulching, watering, and harvesting. They also support units based on good nutrition, the benefits of consuming organic produce, and the process of becoming a certified organic producer. Their program provides background information, lesson plans, activity sheets, case studies, and extra resources for use in primary and middle education.
Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation, Australia
Founded by Australian celebrity chef, restaurateur, and food writer, Stephanie Alexander, the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation, provides pleasurable Food Education for primary school children. The program aims to provide pleasurable learning experiences for children with the hope that they will positively influence their food choices, attitudes towards environmental sustainability, and relationships with other children and adults. pleasurable Food Education encourages critical thinking, teamwork, and increased levels of observation among students based on the idea that fun is integral to learning.
Garden to Table, New Zealand
The Garden to Table program uses practical, hands-on, child-centric classes to teach growing and cooking skills as well as encourage greater individual and collective responsibility for the environment. They teach about the importance of healthy eating and the power of community connectedness. In partnership with T&G (formerly Turners & Growers), Garden to Table launched the Young Gardener Awards to recognize the most passionate young gardeners in the Garden to Table program. There were over 70 entrants in the first year and winners received vouchers to purchase garden tools and resources to help them establish their own home gardens. This year, more categories were added, expanding the opportunities to even more youth. The Garden to Table program began in 2010 with just three schools in Auckland and has now grown into a nationwide program with more than 60 participating schools.
Dairy NZ, New Zealand
DairyNZ strives to strengthen the dairy farming industry through extensive research and community engagement. Funded by dairy farmers, their goal is to build a greater understanding about the connection between dairy farming and New Zealanders, its influence on the economy, and to promote it as a vocational choice. They facilitate education programs about dairy farming and offer curriculum resources to teachers to help them easily integrate dairy farming lessons into their existing curriculum. The goal of the program is to help children learn about the dairy industry while simultaneously learning science, math, and other core subjects.
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permaculture Institute of Asia, Asia
Working with the Thailand Resilience Center, the permaculture Institute of Asia strives to empower global citizenship through education. With a specific focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, they envision a greener future for the youth of Asia and believe in the impact that school gardening programs can have on their mental, physical, and psychological health. They use school gardens to cultivate relationships with the environment and encourage peer-to-peer learning to build deeper connections with the community. The Institute helps educate students about the interconnectedness between individuals, society, and nature and equips teachers with sustainability focused curriculum, as well as the tools and support to help them integrate the lessons into their daily activities. They also provide direct consultation with schools and educators to help them integrate the Sustainable Development Goals into the classroom.
Green School, Indonesia
The Green School, located in Bali, Indonesia, was founded in 2006 with just 90 students and has now grown to reach over 400 children from pre-school through high school. The school focuses on cultivating the spiritual awareness and emotional intuition of young people with the goal that they will create a more sustainable world. They use a holistic, student-led approach to learning in outdoor classrooms with three guiding principles: be local, let your environment be your guide, and envision how your grandchildren will be affected by your actions.