For the past six years NSW Health has worked with local primary schools across NSW to combat the rising epidemic of childhood obesity.
Through implementing the Live Life Well at School program, students have learnt the importance of good nutrition, movement, and have had access to healthy canteens.
St Mary’s Primary School, Young has adopted all of the practices of the program over the past five years and has added to the healthy lifestyle message through the planning of a vegetable garden.
The vegetable garden is due to commence next month and has been enabled through the establishment of a school Garden Club earlier this year.
Spokesperson for the project, Ashley Smith, is proud of how quickly the project – boosted by a $3500 grant through the NSW Environmental Trust Eco Schools grant – has progressed.
“St Mary’s has been very fortunate to have a keen group of parents involved in this committee,” she said.
“A state-of-the-art design was developed through the expertise of Glenice Buck of the well-known garden design company GB Design.
“The concept of the garden is from ‘patch to plate’ and is providing the students of the school with the opportunity to experience the production of the food right through from the planting to consumption. It is planned that the food produced will go directly to the canteen and be used in food options offered by the canteen.”
Principal, Louise Grant, is proud of the direction the school is taking in ensuring the students are in a healthy environment.
“The garden will be so valuable to the school with experiential learning opportunities open to the children who will be able to eat what they grow and have access to healthy vegetables all year round.
Health Promotion Officer with the Murrumbidgee Local Health District Health, Barb Manwaring, said St Mary’s is an embodiment of how well the program can work.
“Providing children with positive messages and experiences during their primary school years hopefully sets them up to be healthy and happier children who grow into healthy active adults, making the best personal health choices later in life,” she said.