Since 2013, the Schools to Market programme has been delivering meaningful food education to teachers and school children. The programme has now extended to all nine Whole Foods Market stores in the UK and, year on year, is enthusiastically embraced by the schools and ably supported by the teams at Whole Foods.
Whole Foods Market and the Whole Kids Foundation developed this exciting programme with School Food Matters, a UK charity dedicated to improving school meals and educating children about where food comes from. Taking place throughout the summer and autumn terms, the project will see children across the country visit farms to experience first hand where their food comes from. There will also be an exciting programme of events and activities throughout the season including master class cooking demonstrations, store tours and marketing workshops for pupils.
Nine Whole Foods Market stores are involved in the project including seven branches across London (Clapham Junction, Fulham Broadway, Piccadilly Circus, High St Kensington, Camden, Stoke Newington, Richmond), Cheltenham and Giffnock in Scotland. Each store will work with one secondary and three primary schools locally, taking children on a journey from 'seed to supermarket'. Pupils will harvest and cook the ingredients for a selection of jams and chutneys that will be available to buy in the Whole Foods Market stores.
This year's project began in May with the team at Whole Foods launching the programme at a series of school assemblies. In early June Whole Foods Market chefs are visiting the schools to give masterclasses to school children on the types of ingredients they should look for ahead of their farm visits taking place on 29th June. Following this, there will be a series of workshops and store tours at Whole Foods Market during July, leading up to Market Day on 23rd September when children will sell their products to Whole Foods customers.
Benjamin Woodgate, Whole Foods Market Marketing Director/Whole Kids Foundation UK Director said:
“We wanted to go beyond the ubiquitous farm to fork journey and so in partnership with the team at School Food Matters we were able to devise a hands on learning experience from seed to supermarket shelf. We have inspired hundreds of local children and taught them how to get growing, cooking, tasting, marketing, merchandising and selling. This programme is assisting children in developing life skills around entrepreneurialism and employability whilst leaving plenty of opportunity to link it back to the curriculum. Put simply we are helping grow healthy kids.”
Stephanie Wood, Founder/Director of School Food Matters said:
“We're delighted to be partnering with Whole Foods Market on this wonderful programme. Schools to Market brings together children from local schools to experience the joy of growing, harvesting and cooking with delicious fruit and veg. By selling their homemade produce at Whole Foods Market they develop enterprise skills and raise funds for their school's food education projects.”