Queensland schools enjoy ozharvest’s new feast program

Students at Kimberley College are among the first students in Queensland to complete OzHarvest’s new FEAST (Food Education and Sustainability Training) program. Media personality and FEAST Ambassador Sofie Formica joined the students to celebrate the official launch of the education program in Queensland, taste testing delicious recipes created from food that might otherwise have gone to waste!

The curriculum aligned program aims to inspire kids to eat healthy food, waste less and become changemakers in their local communities. Kimberley College is one of 24 schools across Queensland running the program this year, reaching more than 1,200 students across the state. OzHarvest Queensland State Manager, Anthony Dunne, said FEAST was developed after identifying an opportunity in the curriculum for a sustainability program that addressed food waste and healthy eating. “When it comes to fighting food waste, kids are the future change-makers and are extremely passionate about protecting the planet. Like any good FEAST, it’s designed to be fun, engaging and filled with good food! It’s great to see schools in Queensland registering for the program and see the impact kids can have in their local communities.”

The roll out of FEAST in Queensland is proudly supported by a Private Philanthropic Foundation who are offering primary schools assistance to bring the food waste program to the first 50 schools that enrol – all you need to buy are the groceries!

FEAST Ambassador, Sofie Formica explained the importance of the program. “I am so thrilled to be joining the OzHarvest team to help raise awareness about FEAST and encourage Queensland schools to sign up for the program. Engaging students in nutrition and sustainability is so exciting!”

Students at FEAST launch
Students reading recipes before cooking their peach parfait at FEAST launch

Sadly, more than a third of the average household bin is food waste. FEAST can have a real and positive impact on reducing the amount of food going to landfill and how to get creative with your food at home. I can’t wait to see how this program inspires kids to eat healthier, waste less, and share their new knowledge with others.

Todd Heffernan, Year 5 and 6 teacher at Kimberley College, said that FEAST was one of the most rewarding experiences of their year. “Our students had the time of their lives learning how to create their own recipes and cooking together. We definitely noticed a change in their commitment to reducing their food waste, eating more fruit and vegetables and we are now composting at Kimberley College!” Schools can run FEAST for 7-10 weeks and it is aligned to the Australian Curriculum STEM and English Learning Areas. Aimed at Years 5 and 6, the program teaches kids about sustainability, food waste and nutrition using hands-on cooking and inquiry-based learning. The culmination of the program is the ‘School Cookbook’ which brings to life everything the students have learnt about food waste and healthy eating. The program encourages students to influence their whole school community by hosting a Cookbook launch and sharing their knowledge on the topic.

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Background information
FEAST is a nationally available program made possible thanks to support from local councils and organisations such as Newman’s Own Foundation, Norton Rose Fulbright, Deloitte, Commonwealth Bank, Bennelong Foundation, Faiman Family, Confoil and other Private Philanthropic Foundations.

OzHarvest FEAST program national reach:
• 185 schools
• 386 teachers trained
• 447 classes
• 10,672 students

Key findings FEAST Pilot:
The FEAST pilot program trained 15 teachers and educated 384 students at four Western Sydney primary schools and has since been successfully rolled-out in schools across Australia. Key findings included:
• 96% of students increased their knowledge, understanding and behaviour regarding food waste.
• 86% of students increased their knowledge and confidence in healthy food preparation.
• 100% of the teachers recommend the FEAST Program.

FEAST ambassador Sofie Formica with first students in QLD completing FEAST