A KILBRITTAIN school has come up with a unique idea to tackle food waste.
Students at Gurraneasig National School have been growing organic fruit and vegetables in their school garden for many years
However, they were aware of the problem of food waste and wanted to share their summer garden surplus, and give others an easy option to do the same. With that in mind they came up with a vision to build an outdoor cupboard, a Food Proud Press, to allow them to do just that.
Their novel idea was funded by by Cork County Council through Local Agenda 21 funding.
Parents and local families are invited to visit the cupboard and take home fresh produce and/or leave their own surplus. The Food Proud Press has already hosted the schools veggies, jars of jams and chutneys, local honey, free range eggs and herbs and much more – all free for the sharing.
School principal, Eoin Fitzpatrick said: ‘Gurraneasig NS aims to be a sustainable and environmentally friendly school. The Food Proud project complements our Green school, Active school and Amber Flag (mental wellbeing) goals and provides hands on active learning and development of critical thinking and problem solving skills and the colourful Food Proud Press located at the school entrance represents the heart of this project circulating a steady stream of home produced food, fair trade and goodwill.’
The Food Proud School project has also seen the school garden grow, with the pupils planting a forest garden with fruit trees and bushes, creating wildlife corridors and making recycled bird feeders.
The project has come together through the collaboration of students, school staff, the parents association and parents and families who have been enthusiastic about the children’s vision for their school garden and the Food Proud Press. The school community has come together for weekly meitheals (work parties) in the garden, sharing ideas and skills, food and laughter as well as the work load.
One young school gardener, Charlotte Cochrane said: ‘I felt so excited and happy that we were bringing more insects and creatures to the school.’
Classmate Arún Geluk added: ‘I like the Food Proud Press because food doesn’t go to waste. And you don’t even always have to put food in it. It could be clothes or books or anything.’