‘Welly to Belly’ School Food Matters Project

May 21, 2021

We’re delighted to be running the North East pilot initiative of a national School Food Matters project to teach children about food and to improve children’s access to healthy, sustainable food during their time at school.

The Young Marketers programme by School Food Matters provides a hands-on opportunity for children from primary schools to grow fruit and vegetables from seed to stall, as well as being a platform to promote food education to schools and communities as a way to support children to live happy and healthy lives. The North East pilot version of this project called ‘Welly to Belly’ is delivered by Food and Drink North East, with the support of Newcastle City Council.

This month, we have worked with Year 1 and Year 2 pupils in two schools in Newcastle to welcome the spring by helping them to plant fruit and vegetables in their school grounds, with the support of a local horticulturist and a team member from FADNE. The students are then going to nurture the crops over the summer month until the produce is ready to be harvested in autumn.

The pupils will then bring fresh produce from their school garden to set up shop alongside market traders at the Grainger Market in Newcastle to show off their enterprise skills and to sell their tasty fruit and vegetables to lovers of fine food. All proceeds from the sale will be donated to FareShare North East.

Chris Jewitt, founder and managing director of FADNE, says, “If the work of FADNE is to have a truly transformative impact on the region’s sector, then we must accept our responsibility to engage future generations in the conversation about the importance of a sustainable, accessible and fair food economy.

“From inspiring tomorrow’s food entrepreneurs to tackling the challenges in public health and climate, our exciting partnership with School Food Matters has gifted us the opportunity to work with local schools at a grassroots level as well as developing creative relationships with wider stakeholders.”

Stephanie Slater, founder and chief executive at School Food Matters said: “We’re delighted to have the opportunity to take Young Marketeers on the road and bring this tried and tested programme to schools across the UK. Children in Newcastle can now experience the joy of growing, harvesting and selling their fresh veg, learning some important life skills along the way. Wishing you all a bumper crop!”

Stay tuned to find out how our young marketers are getting along with their vegetable gardens in the coming months!

To find out more about School Food Matters, please visit the website www.schoolfoodmatters.org.

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Food and Drink North East is a community interest company (CIC). We aim to build a vibrant and engaged community that champions positive trade, promotes a sustainable circular economy and acts as a collective and inclusive voice for the region’s food and drink sector. Focussed on four strategic areas, our objective is to grow the sector’s contribution to the regional economy to 10% gross added value (GVA) by 2025.

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