After a lot of digging, planting and growing, students from three Newcastle schools are harvesting their school-grown produce and setting up a market stall at Newcastle’s Grainger Market on Thursday September 23 as part of the Welly to Belly Project by Food and Drink North East and School Food Matters.
The North East pilot of the national Young Marketers programme by School Food Matters has provided a hands-on opportunity for children from primary schools to grow fruit and vegetables. Delivered by Food and Drink North East (FADNE) with the support of Newcastle City Council, throughout this year students in Year 1 and Year 2 at Gosforth Park First School, Kenton Bar School and Grange First School have had the opportunity to plant fruit and vegetables in their school grounds and nurture the crops over the spring and summer months. Now, it is time for the final stage of the project, which will see students harvest their produce for a special one-day market.
On Thursday September 23, pupils will bring fresh produce from their school garden and set up shop alongside market traders at the Grainger Market to show off their enterprise skills and sell their fruit and vegetables to members of the public. All proceeds from the sales of the produce will be donated to FareShare North East.
Chris Jewitt, founder and CEO of FADNE, says, “There are many future challenges that our communities face which are inseparable to food and drink, from public health and food poverty to a pressing need for jobs, skills and innovation. We are trying hard to stimulate the local economy to build an inclusive, celebratory food culture here in the North East. No sticking plaster or short-term initiative will solve what is, fundamentally, the challenge of a generation. These problems can only be tackled head on by empowering young people with a farm-to-fork understanding of food and drink that will produce a knowledgeable and engaged community of mindful consumers, future entrepreneurs and all-round smart cookies!”
Members of the public are invited to visit the young traders’ market stall at the Grainger Market on Thursday September 23 between 11am and 1pm.
For more information about the Welly to Belly project, visit www.fadne.org