Croydon pupils’ popular one-day schools’ marketplace selling fresh fruit and veg is returning to Croydon Clocktower next week.
Ten schools will set up their stalls between 1.00pm to 2.30pm on Thursday 11 July offering an abundance of crunchy carrots, fresh onions, juicy strawberries and other fruit, vegetables and herbs they have cultivated at their schools, as well as other products they have made.
This is the fourth year Croydon Council has hosted the schools’ marketplace which aims to tackle childhood obesity through educating children about the benefits of fresh, nutritious food. Proceeds from the sales are reinvested into food growing projects at the schools.
The council also contributes towards the development of edible playgrounds in schools and healthy food workshops for teachers.
Councillor Jane Avis, cabinet member for families, health and social care: “One in three children in Croydon are overweight or obese when they reach primary school. It is heartening to see our schoolchildren themselves taking the lead on healthy eating. They are demonstrating how we can move away the bad practice coming out of the high sugar, salt and fat convenience food and fizzy drink sector, which can be detrimental to their health in the long term.”
Councillor Alisa Flemming, cabinet member for children, young people and learning: “Well done to all the Croydon pupils who have worked hard to cultivate this amazing crop of fruit and vegetables. It is great to hear the children tell us how much they enjoy learning about growing their own food and sharing their learning with their families. The schools’ marketplace also helps to equip them with business skills and increases their confidence as they liaise with the public on the day.”
The schools’ marketplace was established bythe Croydon Food Flagship programme, a partnership between the council, the Mayor of London and Department for Education to work with schools, in communities and with businesses to get more residents eating healthier meals and growing their own food.
The council also leads the SUGAR SMART Croydon initiative which raises awareness of the adverse effects of consuming too much sugar and encourages healthy food swaps to replace sugary treats.
The schools taking part in this year’s one-day marketplace include some of Croydon’s Food Flagship schools, who receive additional support for growing and cooking programmes to enable them to share their learning with other schools:
• Bensham Manor School (Food Flagship)
• Forestdale Primary School (Food Flagship)
• Meridian High School (Food Flagship)
• St Marys Catholic Primary Schools Trust (Food Flagship)
• Beulah Junior School
• Broadmead Primary School
• Good Shepherd Catholic Primary School
• Shirley High School
• Smitham Primary School
• The Link Secondary School
The charity School Food Matters worked with three schools throughout the year as they prepare for their market day. Dela Foster, Development Manager: “We are delighted to collaborate on a project like this, which is so instrumental in inspiring secondary school students. Our project, Know Your Onions, takes the students on a journey from planting and growing their own vegetables to learning how to cook from fresh in a simple but effective way, planting the seed for a healthy relationship with food for the rest of their lives. Having the opportunity to market and sell their food is a completely unique experience which empowers them to believe in their ability to create a product from scratch.”
Watch the schools’ marketplace video here