Why Garden to Table is important
Understanding how to grow, harvest, prepare and share good food is key in addressing NZ's dire health statistics. New Zealand is the 3rd most obese country in the OECD, after the USA and Mexico. These statistics also hold true for our tamariki. 12% of New Zealand children, aged 2-14 years, are considered to be obese. For Maori the figures rise to 17%; for Pasifika, 30%. Clinically obese children have a higher incidence of diet-related disease such as heart disease, diabetes and kidney failure. They are more likely to suffer from asthma, and have a lower life expectancy.
In New Zealand; a country of abundance; we have the opportunity to address diet-related disease in our children. By changing the way they think about food, relate to food and enjoy food, we can create skills and habits that will nourish and sustain them for a lifetime.
Over 40% of the schools in the Garden to Table programme are decile 4 or below; statistically schools with a higher proportion of Maori and Pasifika children. Together, we have the opportunity to support lasting and sustained change in our communities. One child, and one school at a time.