Case Study: School Food Matters Schools to Market Day
On Wednesday 23 September 36 schools from across the UK celebrated great British food at our annual Schools to Market Day at Whole Foods Market
Schools to Market was devised by School Food Matters for Whole Foods Market in 2013 and takes young people from 7-16 on a journey from soil to supermarket.
The programme includes:
- a school assembly to launch the programme and learn that food starts at the farm, not the supermarket
- a masterclass in jam and chutney making
- a visit to a pick-your-own farm to harvest ingredients for jams and chutneys
- every school is entitled to a Constant Garden from Rocket Gardens; a year’s supply of organic veg plants so children can use the lessons learned on the farm to grow veg at school
- an opportunity to transform fruit and veg harvested at school and at the farm into jams, chutneys and sauces to sell at Whole Foods Market
The programme ends in a huge day of food education fun when the schools celebrate great British Food and a successful harvest by selling their jams, chutneys and sauces to enthusiastic customers at the local Whole Food store.
One of the highlights of the programme has been the farm visit. In 2015, 540 children visited pick-your-own farms in Kent, Surrey, Giffnock and Cheltenham to harvest fresh fruit and veg for their Schools to Market products. Children came from the full range of education settings; infant, junior, secondary, special, rural and urban. For many, it was their first visit to a working farm.
Beyond the curriculum the farm visit offers a great opportunity for some fresh air and the awe and wonder of vast open spaces. Children enjoy a valuable window into the real world of producing great British food.
Many became acquainted with unfamiliar vegetables for the very first time – kohl rabi, marrow – and some simply hadn’t understood how popular veg such as carrots and corn started the journey to the supermarket.
We think we have created a virtuous circle. The money they raise from selling their home-grown products – made from produce harvested at a local farm – goes straight back to the school to support food education projects to keep them cooking, growing and learning about where their food comes from.
“We learnt that the best food is fresh food” Year 8 student, Maria Fidelis Catholic School
“It was really interesting to see children who had never seen vegetables grow and suddenly understand where their food comes from” Our Lady of Victories Primary School
“It was great to make our own food from things we had grown. I was really proud selling it to people” Year 4 student, Southwold Primary School