Nutritional education: iFood school gardens have already generated 17 tons of food for 12 thousand people in the public school system

In total, there are three urban gardens in schools with more than 25 types of vegetables 61% of parents say that the garden project helped to improve the family diet

In Brazil, 55.2% of families are in a situation of food insecurity, according to data from the latest survey by Rede PENSSAN. At the same time, according to IBGE data, food is 15% more expensive in one year. As a strategy to address the problem, promote food education and improve food security, iFood – the largest food delivery company in Latin America, met with partner institutions and public initiatives to implement urban gardens in public schools. In less than eight months of the project, 17 tons of food have already been harvested, including more than 25 types of vegetables, which benefited 12 thousand people in the public education network.

The school garden project goes beyond feeding students and the entire surrounding school community. “More than acting as a complement to lunch, vegetable gardens are used in educational activities. Currently, 61% of the parents interviewed say that the garden project helped to improve the family's diet”, comments André Borges, head of sustainability at iFood.

For Fabíola Lisboa, School Director, vegetable gardens generate benefits in the classroom. “The project started at our school in October 2021 and involves teachers, staff, parents and students. When children learn about the process of planting, caring for and harvesting, they end up liking and accepting eating vegetables better”, he states. “The vegetable garden project greatly enriches the work we do in the classroom, because the children experience in practice what we talk about”, comments Raquel Ataíde de Cesare, Primary 1 Teacher.

Urban gardens currently produce 25 types of vegetables, which feed students from three public schools, located in the East Zone of São Paulo and Ferraz de Vasconcelos (SP). The partner institutions involved are the NGO Cidades Sem Fome, Gerando Falcões, Pé de Feijão and Prato Verde Sustentável. Two more ecological vegetable garden projects in schools promoted by iFood are being implemented in Osasco, in partnership with the municipality's food security department, Food Bank and Department of Education, and will be producing food by the end of May.

According to Luisa Haddad, co-founder of Pé de Feijão, the garden at school plays a fundamental role in shaping children's eating habits by creating an emotional connection with food. “The beauty of this project is that it not only supported schools in establishing vegetable gardens, but also supports educators with a repertoire of activities so that they feel confident in using the garden as an open-air classroom”, he comments.

As next steps, iFood plans to expand the project with institutions, companies and partners to enhance the initiative. “You cannot make social impact alone, many actors need to be involved and engaged. There are many good initiatives taking place that need support to expand their impact, companies need to recognize these actors and strengthen them. And for this it is necessary to listen to the community, its real needs, without bringing ready-made projects”, says André Borges.

In numbers numbers:

  • 25 types of vegetables and legumes
  • 17 tons of food in 8 months
  • 12 thousand people benefited
  • 2,300m² occupied areas
  • 3 schools in less than a year
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