In response to an ever-increasing feeding crisis in schools that have feeding schemes, the City’s Environmental Resource Management Department’s Youth Environmental School (YES) team has launched an innovative new product that will increase the supply of fruit and vegetables to these schools significantly.
[ad#Google Adsense 125×125 Blog Post]In partnership with the Heart Social Investments for Life, and with financial support from Subcouncil 22 and funding from Danida’s Urban Environmental Management Programme, ‘FoodTents’ will be put up at each of the 10 previously disadvantaged schools in the Delft area in Ward 19. School learners, teachers, caretakers, community and church members will work together to make these food gardens sustainable. They will all receive ‘Smart Living’ and ‘Smart Eating’ training.
A FoodTent is a makeshift greenhouse made out of shade cloth in the shape of a tunnel. It houses 330 nursery bags in which vegetables are grown. An adapted hydroponics technique is used and all that the beneficiary needs to do is water twice a day with the nutrients provided. Instructions, seedlings, a growing medium, nutrients, delivery, training, sponsor banners and maintenance support for a year are all included with each FoodTent.
A FoodTent can be erected in 45 minutes. Fruit and vegetables can be harvested every six weeks, feeding approximately 50 people per month. The produce from a FoodTent can be used to supplement a current feeding scheme or initiate one.
To erect a FoodTent, all that is needed is sufficient space, access to water, a small amount of manpower and the will to feed hungry tummies. FoodTent installations also make fantastic, fun, inexpensive, easy-to-do community projects and volunteerism packages. FoodTents are proving to be extremely popular as a solution to the lack of food security in South Africa.
The City’s YES programme is an extensive, integrated ongoing youth capacity building, education and awareness programme providing a variety of projects and programmes, activities and resources to all schools in Cape Town.
The feeding scheme of Silversands Primary, where the launch of a FoodTent will take place on 26 February, will now be able to sustain itself with home-grown vegetables. Other schools in the area that will benefit from this unique opportunity are Silversands Primary, Vergenoeg Primary, Rainbow Primary, Wesbank Primary, Rosendal Primary, Delft Primary, Rosendal High, Hoofweg Primary, Wesbank High and Voorbrug High Schools. This initiative also creates an opportunity for these schools to go green.