Stephanie Alexander taught millions of Australians how to be better cooks with her seminal book, The Cook’s Companion, which has sold more than 500,000 copies.
Concerned about the way children learn – or don’t – about food, she started a gardening and cooking program at an inner-city Melbourne school 15 years ago. That subsequently blossomed into the not-for-profit Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation. It’s become an astonishingly successful national program, and Alexander was recognised for her work with AO in 2014.
By the end of last year, the Foundation in 10% of Australian schools with a primary curriculum.
This week, Labor, which helped the program expand nationally with $13 million in 2008-09 Budget, promised an extra $5 million for SAKGF if they’re elected.
Labor says the funds will allow the program to reach more than 300,000 additional students over four years, taking the total to 450,000 schoolkids.
It’s not the biggest issue of the election, nor the most expensive promise, but with one in four Australian children overweight or obese, learning to eat well and grow your own food when you’re young is a pretty simple and effective way to tackle the issue.
It’s an election promise that deserves bipartisan support.
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