Minister Heather Humphreys helps launch SuperValu & GIY ‘Let’s GROW’ initiative for 50,000 primary school children
Primary Schools can learn how to grow food at school
and register now to receive free ‘Let’s GROW’ classroom kit
Today (February 8th 2023), students at Scoil Mhuire gan Smál in Inchicore, Dublin 8 officially launch the ‘SuperValu Let’s GROW’ initiative in partnership with GIY. This is a brand new partnership that aims to put homegrown food centre-stage in classrooms across Ireland by enabling 50,000 children to learn how to grow food at school.
This nationwide campaign is being run by the not-for-profit social enterprise, GIY and it is the start of a 3-year partnership with SuperValu. Through ‘SuperValu Let’s GROW’, classrooms will be provided with the tools for food growing and food literacy education. The ‘SuperValu Let’s GROW’ pack provides schools with everything they need to start growing their own vegetables, including packs of seeds, compost discs and pots for growing, as well as teacher resource packs with curriculum-linked lesson plans and activities. The pupils at Scoil Mhuire gan Smál will join over 50,000 other children to take on the challenge of growing their own food, starting on their classroom windowsills this Spring.
Helping to launch the initiative Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD said:
“I am delighted to be here today to launch the SuperValu Let’s GROW initiative in association with GIY, which delivers classroom-based food growing and food literacy education. This initiative puts growing food firmly back on the table for students, leading to the development of lifelong skills that will support healthier living. Over 50,000 students across Ireland will have the opportunity to grow their own food, as they will be provided with seeds, compost discs, pots for growing and lesson plans. I believe this initiative holds benefits for students far beyond the classroom and look forward to seeing the students’ growing success this year.”
Speaking at the launch, GIY Founder and CEO Michael Kelly explained how impactful the simple act of sowing seeds can be for children. ‘SuperValu Let’s GROW’ is designed to connect pupils with the magic of plants and the wonder of nature, which has a profound effect on how children think about food. Through our work, we know that by growing their own food children develop a greater curiosity and understanding of how food is produced and how it gets to our tables. Perhaps most importantly, research consistently shows that children who grow some of their own vegetables are more likely to eat more vegetables – a vital habit to support healthier people and the planet. Our research also shows us that through growing food and getting their hands into the earth there are huge mental health and well-being benefits for children.”
Joining GIY at the launch was SuperValu Managing Director Ian Allen, who said:
“We are delighted to launch our ‘SuperValu Let’s GROW’ campaign in partnership with GIY. At SuperValu, we are passionate about fresh food and we want to share this passion with schools across Ireland. By encouraging children to get involved and grow their own fruit and vegetables, we can instil a life-long interest in food and making healthy choices. Not only this, the ‘SuperValu Let’s GROW’ campaign will encourage schools to take on projects that go beyond the classroom, inspiring students to get involved in their local communities for decades to come, through initiatives like SuperValu TidyTowns. ”
David Gough, principal at Scoil Mhuire gan Smál shared his enthusiasm for the project with the participating children. “Now that Spring has arrived, it is a fitting time for the launch of ‘SuperValu Let’s GROW’. It is a time of great excitement and optimism for the year ahead – from small seeds, great fun will be had and great food will grow. The children can’t wait to roll up their sleeves and get started.”
Schools across the country are encouraged to register online from today at www.supervaluletsgrow.ie to receive a free classroom growing kit while supplies last.
Each ‘SuperValu Let’s GROW’ classroom pack includes seeds for cress, peas, salad leaves, pumpkins and sunflowers. There are also 32 compostable pots, 32 magic compost discs and expert GIY resource booklet with growing guides, lessons and activities created by GIY and lots of classroom goodies.