The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council has visited Rasharkin Primary School to find out more about its Healthy Food Choices project.
The scheme was made possible by the Sustainable Food and Essential Supplies Fund, provided through Council by the Department for Communities. It aims to improve access to food and supplies while encouraging greater awareness around food waste, how to grow your own produce, cooking on a budget and healthy eating options.
In Rasharkin, the funding has been used to bring pupils, staff, and parents together to make healthy snack options available to the school community.
Welcoming the project, the Mayor, Councillor Richard Holmes, said: “This small grant has made a huge difference, particularly at such a difficult time for many families with the rising costs of living.
“I was very pleased to meet with pupils and staff to find out more about their project, and its positive impact. As well as encouraging healthy eating, it is helping the school to build important links and create a community ethos which is so important.
“It is very encouraging to see funding in action like this, and I want to congratulate everyone involved in the scheme’s success so far.
Explaining more about the Healthy Food Choices project, Ruth Howe, Principal of Rasharkin Primary School, added: “Prior to COVID-19 parents kindly volunteered their time to provide ‘Friday Fruit’ to pupils in school. As staff, we enjoyed the opportunities to build connections with our families and the children were encouraged to try new fruit each week.
“This ceased when COVID struck. Children had to bring their own snacks and we lost those important connections with parents. Children’s food choices were also greatly impacted, as many families faced financial hardship.
“We were delighted to receive a grant from Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, and it has been vital in helping us energise our school community to make heathier food choices.
“Our school councillors surveyed pupils and a list of top fruit and vegetables was agreed to be made available each week. Parents have once again been able to come in each week to help prepare.
“As part of this project we are looking forward to a cookery demonstration from the Livestock and Meat Commission later in the term.”