Blacktown Kitchen Garden Project

Monday, January 22, 2024

The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation is excited to announce a five-year community project in Western Sydney to support primary schools to establish and maintain a Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program.

This place-based project, on Darug Country, focuses on the Blacktown Local Government Area (LGA). Leaning on the Foundation’s pleasurable food education, primary schools in the Blacktown LGA will empower children to develop practical life skills, an appreciation of seasonal produce, and a positive, confident and healthy relationship with food — for life. 

This initiative is made possible through generous philanthropic funding from TLE Electrical.

We will be working collaboratively with the Western Sydney Local Health District Centre for Population Health to deliver these local school programs and look forward to partnering with them to support existing health and wellbeing priorities.

 

“Engaging children in the joys of fresh food through fun, curriculum-linked learning sets them up with positive relationships and practices that will support their health into adulthood. The Foundation has participated in the Western Sydney Diabetes Leaders Alliance, since 2015. This partnership identified schools as a priority primary health prevention site. With the support of TLE Electrical, we can fulfil this opportunity and proudly respond to the need.”

Dr. Cathy Wilkinson

CEO, Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation

 

Currently, there are over 250 schools and early childhood services in NSW already benefiting from the Kitchen Garden Program and the ripple effects it has on families and the community. Across the Blacktown LGA and the broader Western Sydney region, there is strong interest in supporting children to form positive food, health, wellbeing and sustainability skills and practices.  

Over the next five years, 16 primary schools will be supported to join our kitchen garden community, beginning with the establishment of a Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program demonstration school. All schools will become members of our globally-recognised Kitchen Garden Program and receive kick-start funding to support their garden and cooking setups.

To lead the community engagement, we are now hiring a Project Lead with lived experience in or near the Blacktown LGA. Applications are now open.

Community-led solutions

Local community knowledge and expertise will guide the design of the Blacktown Kitchen Garden Project. With over 20 years of experience in delivering the Kitchen Garden Program and equipping educators with the tools and resources to engage children with fresh, seasonal, delicious food, the Foundation has cemented its reputation as a leading enabler of meaningful community development. We draw on our deep expertise to support our partners to achieve the changes they want and need most.

Blacktown LGA holds strong cultural significance. Home to over 11,800 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People*, we will work alongside the rich knowledge of traditional owners, allowing for self-determination and long-term partnerships to inform the project.

Residents of the Blacktown LGA come from 188 different birthplaces and speak 182 languages at home. These countries of birth will inform kitchen and gardening practices to generate an inclusive reflection of the area’s languages and traditions important to primary school students and their loved ones.

We look forward to working on the ground locally to listen and learn as we commence the project. If you are a community member or organisation within the Blacktown LGA and would like to learn more, please email maria.pokorny@kitchengardenfoundation.org.au.

 

Read about our other community-based projects, the Healthy Kids Advisors initiative and Wellbeing SA.

* ABS census data 2021

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