Meet the 2024 Kitchen Garden Kickstart Grant schools!

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Back for another year, the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation is thrilled to announce the 2024 Kitchen Garden Kickstart Grant recipients, generously funded by our partner General Mills Australia.

This year, over 400 schools submitted expressions of interest! Schools from NSW submitted the most applications (40), followed by VIC (38), and QLD (19). Thank you to everyone who spent time and effort on their applications.

12 schools have been selected to receive the Kitchen Garden Kickstart Grant to deliver health and wellbeing benefits to their students and community through pleasurable food education and the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program. 

Each school receives a two-year start-up membership and a once-off $5000 grant to spend on kickstarting their program. The grant will enable schools to act out their vision for kitchen and garden classes through the funding of garden and kitchen equipment – such as garden beds, garden tools, cupboards, benches, pots and pans – or whatever it is the school needs to help their program establish and grow!

In no particular order, please meet the incredible schools that can now begin or further enhance their food education journey with $5000 and all the membership benefits of the impactful Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program.  

Moss Vale Public School, New South Wales

Moss Vale have a thriving garden club with over 50 students who have established their much-loved Mossy Meadows Garden. With the momentum and success of their garden club, the school are excited to embark on the next chapter of the journey — to equip students with a cooking space to enable whole class participation, teach essential life skills and encourage children to “expand their palette, experience new culinary tolerances, explore food and promote healthy eating.”

Holy Family School, Victoria

With 89% of students coming from cultural backgrounds other than English, Holy Family School has an excellent breakfast club, garden club, and lunchtime cooking club which provide students with enriching and beneficial experiences. Funds from the Kitchen Garden Kickstart Grant will be put towards establishing an integrated Kitchen Garden Program with garden beds, an outdoor cooking area and appropriate storage equipment for cookware and kitchen equipment.

“We want to achieve a Kitchen Garden Program that brings in our families and strengthens our local networks to improve our connection to community. We want to support our children and provide opportunities for them to grow confidence and life skills. We want to offer a space where they have a voice, and no matter where the student’s capacity sits, we will walk with them to grow their agency and provide opportunities to feel empowered. We see the Kitchen Garden Program serving our parents and grandparents as a place where they can share their garden skills or learn new ones; where they can volunteer and learn alongside their children.”

Glenis Cheyne, Family and Community Engagement, Holy Family School

Eneabba Primary School, Western Australia

Located 132 km from the nearest town, Eneabba’s locals battle with hot summers and limited fresh produce supplies at their small general store. Fresh fruit and vegetables are hard for students and families to come by, so the school will expand their kitchen facilities and garden equipment so all students can benefit from the impact of the Kitchen Garden Program. 

Edith Creek Primary School, Tasmania

With 33 students, Edith Creek will expand their existing garden projects (and chooks!) to provide their students with the full benefits of the Kitchen Garden Program. Their grant funds will be used to purchase garden beds, irrigation and sprinklers, water storage and a pump. Their expansion is being further supplemented by significant donations from strong connections in the local community, including seeds and seedlings, earthworks, soil, hardwood pallets, and manure!  

Rockhampton North Special School, Queensland

This special education school in central Queensland has 92 students. With the Grant funds, Rockhampton North Special School can create a garden that is accessible for all students by establishing wheelchair-friendly garden beds to complement their existing kitchen facilities and enable them to run the Kitchen Garden Program. 

Ngutu College, South Australia

Located in Woodville North in Adelaide, Ngutu College operates with “Aboriginal cultures at it’s soul, young people at it’s heart and the Arts as it’s spine”'. Ngutu College will utilise their Kickstart Grant to establish a Kitchen Garden Program to enhance community connection.

“Our children and young people, along with our parents and our specialist educators, will grow the produce in our kitchen garden and then use the produce in the food preparation within the cafe kitchen. This will allow them a full 360-degree learning of food education, an understanding of how to grow food for cooking to provide delicious meals for their community, and provide future career pathways.”

Dayna Brassil, Marketing & External Relations Manager, Ngutu College 

Penong Primary School, South Australia

On the Eyre Peninsula, Penong is now able to expand its small garden to enable a Kitchen Garden Program available to the whole school. Grant funds will be spent on purchasing garden beds, shade cloths and frames, and setting up irrigation systems.

“We hope that through positive learning experiences in the garden and kitchen, using the produce that they have grown and cooked with, our students will develop life skills they can carry with them into their homes and their futures.”

Joanne Ormsby, Student Services Officer, Penong Primary School

Poowong Consolidated School, Victoria

This passionate school in Southwest Gippsland has set up many food initiatives with the students and wider school community. However, their garden beds were located 60 metres from the school, making gardening classes difficult and watering inaccessible to students without teacher support. With the Kickstart Grant funds, they can now enhance functionality with a new centralised garden, a greenhouse, reclaimed brick pathway and purposeful access to tools, water and kitchen equipment.

“A garden in a central place will allow many students who feel displaced and have trouble socially regulating to get their hands onto something real, settle their brains, and feel a sense of immediate satisfaction.”

Lauren Dobie, Science Teacher, Poowong Consolidated School.

St Georges Road Primary School, Victoria

This rich, vibrant, and culturally diverse school in regional Shepparton has a student population of 459 children. The families connected to the school are made up of diverse cultural backgrounds, representing over 22 countries! They have existing cooking and gardening activities at the school which will now benefit from the tools and resources from the Kitchen Garden Program.

Trinity Bay High School, Queensland

In Cairns, this bustling school has close to 2000 students. Their Special Education students currently tend two garden beds to great success and with their Kickstart Grant they can now expand the benefits of kitchen garden learning to even more students through a Kitchen Garden Program. 

“Gardening not only provides us with a welcome break from sedentary classroom routines but allows students hands-on understanding of the importance of sustainable practices, developing a sense of stewardship towards nature and learning how to make environmentally friendly and healthy choices in their daily lives.”

Susanne Jacobs, Inclusive Education Teacher, Trinity Bay High School. 

Villawood East Public School, NSW

Villawood East is a school of 280 students from Western Sydney. Their new grant funds will help realise their gorgeous garden vision complete with compost tumblers and worm farms and an orchard. They’ll be upgrading their cooking facilities with gas burners, and adding to much-needed tools and equipment. 

Thank you again to General Mills Australia for their continued support. We are so excited to see how this year's recipients build a generation of students into capable, healthy members of their community. For more grant opportunities throughout the year, please subscribe to our newsletter or watch the grants list on our home page.

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