Green-thumbed pupils from St Aloysius Primary School are helping put tasty food in the bellies of some of the most vulnerable and needy people in their community.
Grade three and four pupils spend time each week in the school's kitchen garden growing and harvesting herbs that they donate to Ian Tantau at Country Casseroles to turn in to delicious meals for Salvation Army and Soup Bus clients.
"The kids do pretty much all of it and are very much aware of what we do and why we do it," said St Aloysius staff member Clare Quick.
"Every Tuesday and Wednesday our grade three and four children get in the garden, collect herbs, cut them, put them together, wrap them in twine and put a tag on them ... then we deliver them to Ian at Country Casseroles.
Pupils grow a variety of herbs including rosemary, thyme, sage, parsley, mint, bay leaves and chives.
"We love to make community connections and because our garden is quite large now we thought it would be nice if the kids reflect on it and link in with the wider community," Ms Quick said.
Mr Tantau, who is also co-founder of Pay It Forward, said the involvement of the children in growing the herbs and knowing they were going to help others was wonderful.
"It's great they are doing something they feel is important and we use their herbs in the food; chives in our tuna mornay, thyme in Irish stew, mint in our lamb curry and fresh parsley and other herbs in our meatballs and vegetable soup," he said.
In addition to delivering meals to Soup Bus and the Salvation Army, Mr Tantau also helps out those struggling in the community.
IN OTHER NEWS
the school's Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden is just three years old, the first year having been spent building it with the help of Ballarat Regional Industries who made their raised garden beds.
With COVID lockdowns last year there were plants grown but not used to the best of their ability because children weren't at school to harvest and cook the produce.
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