Edible Education students win prestigious UN prize

Students from Lammas Secondary School in the London Borough of Waltham Forest won third prize in the Think.Eat.Save student challenge to tackle global food waste with their event ‘Eat My Words’. The United Nations and partner organisations, called on students to join the fight to reduce global food waste, estimated at one third annually. Around 470 schools from close to 80 countries took up the call.

The students, who had been selected to take part in the This is Rubbish Edible Education programme, wrote and performed slam poetry and spoken word to spread their message in an event open to parents, teachers and the wider public. This Is Rubbish utilised their contacts with food wholesalers and supermarkets to source surplus food for the event. Six large boxes of produce that would have been wasted was transformed into exotic, healthy snacks and juices. The students from different school years worked collaboratively to exchange ideas, create the invites and line up, make decorations and very importantly, learn new cookery skills using food that would have been wasted. Guests included Aisling Fahey, the Young Poet Laureate for London, who also performed a piece.

Edible Education takes students on a learning journey through the food supply chain and uses cross curricular, interactive learning to empower young people with a positive message for change. The pilot, which has just finished, toured to five schools and through performances, after school clubs and student assemblies reached an audience of 400+ pupils, teachers and parents. The response was fantastic. The broad range of learning activities revealed the values young people hold about food and the environment and the poetry written by the award winning Lammas students referred strongly to themes of social justice and food security. This seems particularly pertinent at a time when the rise and role of UK food banks is being debated. Waltham Forest is home to many families living in poverty and ranks 15th most deprived borough in the country. All the schools TiR Edible Education worked with have the highest proportion of students eligible for free school meals, roughly double the national average.

The TiR Edible Education team has been genuinely inspired by the passionate and thoughtful responses from all the young participants. This is powerful motivation to further these partnerships and we have big ambitions for growing the programme in 2015.

Here’s to a wonderful, wonky 2015!