The popular schools’ marketplace returns today (Tuesday 11 July) with bags of fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs on offer to residents at bargain prices.
Pupils from 10 schools across the borough, including Croydon’s three food flagship schools – Rockmount and Fairchildes primary schools, and Meridian High – will set up their market stalls in Croydon Clocktower, Katharine Street, from 1pm to 2.30pm.
Everything on sale has been grown by the children at their schools, with support from the charity School Food Matters. All the proceeds from the market will be reinvested in the schools’ food growing projects.
Councillor Toni Letts, The Mayor of Croydon, will be one of the first to attend this year’s marketplace, along with Councillor Louisa Woodley, cabinet member for families, health and social care, and Councillor Alisa Flemming, cabinet member for children, young people and learning.
The marketplace is an initiative developed from the Croydon Food Flagship, set up with the council, Mayor of London and Department for Education.
The two-year flagship programme, which ended in March, aimed to tackle obesity by working with local schools and communities to improve nutrition by reducing their fat, salt and sugar intake, and taking part in food-growing projects. Businesses were also supported to adopt healthier cooking practices. A video about the flagship’s achievements and its future plans is available on YouTube.
“Sticking to a healthy diet is important for everyone to help prevent a number of illnesses, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
“The schoolchildren have learned a great deal from the Croydon Food Flagship programme and their teachers about growing fresh produce and the importance of eating well to stay healthy and energetic.
“The marketplace initiative is an excellent way for the children to show others the fruits of their labour.”
Councillor Alisa Flemming, cabinet member for children, young people and learning
“We’re pleased to help our pupils take the learning from their food-growing classes one step further by selling the produce to residents and local shoppers.
“The Food Flagship has supported Croydon schools in many ways, including producing a School Food Plan for the borough and offering staff training in food preparation. This has led to healthier menus at breakfast and afterschool clubs, and lunchtimes. It’s also resulted in an increase in the number of kids eating school meals.”