Macdoch Foundation responds to school challenges

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Around Australia, many schools and communities are facing significant environmental challenges, including those affected by floods and drought, food insecurity, pandemic-related learning losses, and school refusal. 
We have partnered with the Macdoch Foundation to support NSW children and communities to address preventable inequities through our evidence-backed Kitchen Garden Program. 

Ten under-resourced schools have received $5000 to set up or expand their kitchen and garden facilities, plus a two-year membership to the Kitchen Garden Program to achieve positive change.

Collective impact

The generous support of the Macdoch Foundation will reach 1155 students this year alone and will continue to benefit students and their families year after year as they further embed their Kitchen Garden Program into their learning, wellbeing and community engagement.  


“Our Program is evidence-based. We know it works to improve mental health and wellbeing, to build food education skills and give children practical, hands-on knowledge of food, food systems and growing produce.” 

Dr Cathy Wilkinson, CEO of the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation


The 10 Schools that are being supported are: 

  • Beverley Park Special School
  • Bonnells Bay Public School
  • Garah Public School
  • Lake Macquarie High School
  • Maroota Public School
  • Moorland Public School
  • Narooma Public School
  • St Ignatius Primary School
  • St Joseph's School (Merriwa NSW)
  • Stokers Siding Public School



School spotlight

One of the schools to benefit from our partnership with the Macdoch Foundation is Stokers Siding Primary School in the Northern Rivers of NSW. 

This small school of 38 students will use the funding and the program membership to reinforce healthy eating choices by growing a diverse range of fruits and vegetables and fostering curiosity amongst the students to try a variety of fresh food — including some local indigenous flavours.

Their kitchen infrastructure will be upgraded so students can access a safe and clean area to prepare and share easy, fresh, and light meals. “For a small school, we are working so hard to provide a holistic approach to education,” explains the school’s Project Officer, Nicole Kelly. “We understand that children’s lives are not made and enriched purely by textbooks. Having a kitchen garden that they can feel connected to and have ownership of is so important for developing young minds.”

In the next 12 months, Nicole and the school community are hoping the funds and resources from their Kitchen Garden Program membership will foster a love of cooking fresh food and encourage kids to access the garden during break time to nurture their plants as well as their personal wellbeing. 

We have so much unmet demand from communities in need. Please reach out to our Partnerships Team if you’re in a position to support children across Australia to form positive food, health, wellbeing and sustainability habits for life! 

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