Media release - Echuca School Garden and Cafe Nuturing Love of Healthy Tasty Food




Echuca Twin Rivers Specialist School (ETRSS) will host VicHealth CEO, Dr Sandro Demaio, along with representatives from Healthy Loddon Campaspe (HLC) on Thursday 14 March to showcase their innovative school kitchen garden and café program.

ETRSS has been working with State Government-funded initiative Healthy Loddon Campaspe to develop and deliver a true ‘patch-to-plate’ school kitchen garden program that encompasses the growing, cooking and eating journey to promote healthy eating within the school community and beyond.

Students are involved throughout the whole journey, from planting, cultivating and harvesting, to cooking and preparing food for sale in their public café.

ETRSS Assistant Principal, Ben Ridge said the garden and café program is an integral part of the learning experience for students.

“Students, no matter their ability, are gaining significant benefits from the garden, in terms of both a healthy eating and cooking perspective, through to positive impacts on emotional regulation,” Mr Ridge said.

Healthy Loddon Campaspe Coordinator, Alicia O’Brien said working with the school to understand their current needs and adopting a partnership approach has seen many positive results.

“One of HLC’s key priorities is to increase rates of healthy eating within the Loddon Campaspe region,” Ms O’Brien said.

“By working closely with ETRSS to understand their capacity and requirements, we’re proud to have assisted in the growth of their garden and café program.

“The program has led to students having a stronger understanding of the benefits of growing their own food, and increased school and community engagement with healthy eating.”

VicHealth CEO, Dr Sandro Demaio said he is looking forward to seeing the program in action.

“Connecting kids to the growing and cooking of healthy food at an early age has enormous benefits for their mental and physical health. It’s fantastic to see strong community programs like this, which empower young people to learn about and love tasty, healthy food.”

The school has further plans to develop their garden and café program, including propagating seedlings, developing a seed library, and increasing their café offerings to the community.

Echuca Twin Rivers Specialist School garden1
Echuca Twin Rivers Specialist School garden1
Echuca Twin Rivers Specialist School garden2
Echuca Twin Rivers Specialist School garden2

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