Capital kids harvest fruit and veg to raise cash for food poverty charity

By Will Brook

A global pandemic couldn’t spoil the soil for the young marketeers harvesting fruit and veg for charity.

Children from 10 primary schools across London are taking part in a charity produce sale, aimed at educating youngsters around running a successful market stall – from food hygiene, to marketing, to customer service – with all funds raised going to food poverty charity FareShare.

For the past eight years, the children’s sustainably-grown fruit and veg has been taken to Borough Market to be sold, but this year social distancing restrictions at the market forced children to innovate.

Produce is instead being sold via online orders, delivery to specific classrooms, and even ‘click and collect’-style delivery from school gates.

The programme is being delivered by campaigning charity School Food Matters, in partnership with teachers and Borough Market’s traders.

School Food Matters chief executive Stephanie Slater said: “No pandemic can stop these enterprising young growers.

“Our Young Marketeers are a determined lot, and with their teachers came up with creative ways to get their home-grown veg to market.

“School veg plots have become even more precious during the Covid crisis, providing a safe outdoor space for children to learn about food and engage in meaningful activity that has a focus on the future.

“By nurturing their home-grown veg, they nurture themselves.”

The Young Marketeers programme has seen more than 7,000 primary school children from 58 different schools grow and sell produce.

Borough Market Director of Development and Communications, Kate Howell, said: “It’s fantastic that the children have still been able to enjoy growing their own fruit and veg in a sustainable way.

“We know that being aware of the seasons, planting and harvesting are important ways to connect young people with fresh food.

“We’re hoping our expert traders will also have inspired a host of future food-loving entrepreneurs.”

Last year, children raised £576.75 at the harvest sale, and all proceeds were donated to FareShare which, with every £1 raised, provides four meals to vulnerable families across London.

The schools taking part include, John Ruskin Primary School, St Francis Primary School, Brunswick Park Primary School and Charlotte Sharman Primary School, all in Southwark, and The Greenwich Steiner School in Greenwich.

Pictured top: The programme is being delivered by campaigning charity School Food Matters, in partnership with teachers and Borough Market’s traders.


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