Donegal School wins first prize in its Amazing Healthy Eating Program

An elementary school in Co Donegal won first prize in the Incredible Edibles Elementary Schools Gardening and Healthy Eating Program.

Class 3 at Creevy National School in Ballyshannon showed off their creative food journey in a scrapbook and presented their best year-end project to secure first place in the Agri Aware Schools program nationwide.

Incredible Edibles is a healthy eating project for elementary schools.

The aim of the project is to educate students about growing fruits and vegetables and to increase their knowledge of the origin and quality of food.

It also highlights the important role that fresh Irish produce plays in a healthy balanced diet and the importance of consuming at least five to seven servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

The pupils of Creevy National School impressed the judges with the scale and quality of their work, and their completion of all five tasks; The origin of the food, Irish identification, planting, cooking and healthy eating, to a “flawless” level.

The Donegal children also demonstrated a range of biodiversity measures through bee protection and manure during the Incredible Edibles programme.

In addition, Catherine Connelly’s class enjoyed the “Meet the Farmer” webinar hosted by Agri Aware and project sponsors.

The third graders are now ready to harvest and eat some of the fruits and vegetables they have grown in the school as part of the programme.

Increasing separation from the source of food

The Incredible Edibles program ran from January to June and involved more than 76,000 children from 1,800 schools across the country – its largest ever.

All schools that participate in the program receive free planting packages so they can grow, grow and harvest their own fruits and vegetables.

With concerns about “increasing disconnection” from the food source, Agri Aware said the program aims to help children learn all about how food reaches their plates while also growing fruits, vegetables and herbs.

Ellis Green, director of programs and events at Agri Aware, congratulated Creevy National School for entering this year’s Incredible Edibles program, saying it was “simply one of the best we’ve had.”

“The program has been in operation for 14 years and continues to grow with schools entering this year to an all-time high,” Green added.

Onagh Trehin, Executive Director of Healthy Eating at Bord Bia and Chair of the Sponsoring Committee for Amazing Eating, highlighted the importance of horticulture education and the origins of food, along with “highlighting the importance of seasonal fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet.”

“We were very impressed by the efforts the schools have made this year, and by the standard of projects submitted,” said Ms. Trien.

Well done to all the schools that participated and congratulations to the well-deserved winning schools.

In second place was the fourth and fifth class of Michaela Doyle Murphy at Edmund Rice Bonesquill Res School, New Ross, Co Wexford. He was followed by Stephanie Kearns’ young and old children at St. Joseph’s National School in Kilkok, Co-Meath.

Meanwhile, Ballina’s third grader Michael Jolly, Mayo Company, won the Home School category.

Maire De Bhruin took second place in the Gaelscoil Liatroma, Co Leitrim took first place in the Gaelscoil class, and Annelies Verniest’s ASD class won at Berrings National School, Co Cork.

Jerry Kelleher’s sixth class at Pantyre National School, Ko Cork came first in the “Internet class” and the new “junior” class won Hazel O’Dwyer’s class at Portlaoise Together National School of Education, Ko Lawa.

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