Swapping a sweet tooth for a green thumb: The future of kid's fundraisers

Published: 03 August 2016

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It’s a common sight – schoolkids carrying fold-up boxes full of chocolate bars, set to raise funds for their school, scout club, or sporting team.

But with childhood obesity on the rise and school tuckshops changing their menus, do chocolate bars really belong in the fundraising box?

Family Feud host and Ten personality Grant Denyer doesn’t think so.

“In a healthy world why should we continue to fundraise with sugar, and not with seeds?” he said.

Grant has teamed up with Australia’s largest garden business Yates to launch ‘Raise a Patch’ – an initiative to replace fundraising chocolate with seeds for veggie patches and gardens.

“It’s getting kids active, it’s getting them out in the garden, it’s getting them learning about the production of food… it’s the perfect alternative.”

He was joined by mascot Cedric the Gnome at Pocket City Farms in Camperdown as they taught kids from Dulwich Hill, Darlington and Coogee primary schools how to plant seeds.

The ‘Raise a Patch’ box contains 25 seeds, ranging from carrots to tomatoes to parsley to spinach.

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Angie Thomas, Yates gardening expert, hopes the initiative will help kids learn where their food comes from.

“We want to get more seeds into the hands of more gardeners, particularly young kids who often don’t get the chance to garden,” she said.

“It gives them the chance to see where food comes from, how food grows, and kids are more likely to eat fruit and veggies that they’ve grown themselves.”

Grant says his five-year-old daughter Sailor has developed an understanding of food production by flexing her green thumb.

“No longer does a carrot come from a supermarket, she now knows they come from the ground, and they’re wonderful, practical life skills she learns along the way.”

To grab a box for your own fundraising, visit the Yates page here.