There’s probably no better time to celebrate SA’s #foodheroes than this year of the COVID pandemic, and in the month of October when World Food Day is commemorated.
As a testimony of extraordinary resilience, when the country’s food systems have been sorely tested, nineteen SA schools have been announced as winners in the EduPlant School Gardening and Nutrition Programme 2020 competition. The leading food-gardening programme involves learners, teachers and their wider community in establishing permaculture food gardens and developing food security clusters in under-resourced townships and rural communities. Co-ordinated by Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA), EduPlant 2020 is supported by long-term partner, Woolworths and new sponsor, Tiger Brands.
Robyn Hills, FTFA Programme Manager says, “EduPlant has run since 1994 and in that time we have supported, trained and resourced thousands of schools with educational materials, seeds, tools, plants, fruit trees and onsite workshops. The school gardens are amazing places for learning, growing food and bringing the community together. We congratulate the 2020 EduPlant winners, and acknowledge all the finalists and entrants for their efforts. They have served as critical food hubs during COVID, providing fresh, naturally grown vegetables and fruit in their communities. They are true food heroes at a time when improved food security is vital for the country.”
To keep the EduPlant programme and competition year on track during COVID, the biennial competition moved online. A microsite was developed for the food-gardening schools to upload videos showcasing their school’s capacity for growing food in their communities for judging. Two new awards were added; the Fan Favourite prize voted by viewers of the entrants’ videos and Most Improved which recognises gains made by a school over the two-year period.
R300 000’s worth of prizes has been awarded to the winners, with all 42 finalist schools also receiving a cash prize to support their food-growing efforts.
FTFA qualified as an essential service during hard lockdown, and distributed 126 000 additional seedlings to help school’s food gardens meet the greater demand for food in their communities.
To view the 42 finalists’ video entries go to: www.eduplant.org
EduPlant winners for 2020
1. Seyisi Primary School, Eastern Cape
2. Nobanda Primary School, KwaZulu-Natal
1. Shea O’Connor Combined School, KwaZulu-Natal
2. Leubaneng Primary School, Limpopo
3. Kwa-Ngubeni Primary School, KwaZulu-Natal
1. Kings Harvest Academy, KwaZulu-Natal
2. Sesete Primary School, Mpumalanga
3. Yomelela Primary School, Western Cape
Category: Fan Favourite
1. Hlatikulu Senior Primary School, Eastern Cape (Emerging)
Category: Most Improved School
1. Elizabeth Matsemela Secondary School, Gauteng (Experienced)
Eastern Cape: Jamangile Senior Secondary School (Experienced)
Free State: Gelukwaarts Farm School (Experienced)
Gauteng: Philip Kushlick School (Emerging)
KwaZulu-Natal: Woodhurst Primary School (Emerging)
Limpopo: Mmakau Primary School (Emerging)
Mpumalanga: Senianya Primary School (Experienced)
North West: Edisang Primary School (Experienced)
Northern Cape: Laerskool Wilgenhoutsdrift (Emerging)
Western Cape: Eden School for Learners with Special Education Needs (Experienced)