10 years of The Big Grow: Veg growing initiative returns

by Rachel Darcy

Innocent & GIY have launched The Big Grow 2021, celebrating 10 years of helping kids to grow their own vegetables.

Even though schools are closed, innocent and GIY are continuing to call on teachers to sign up for free food growing classroom kits to welcome pupils back when classrooms open again.

Today kicks off the tenth year of The Big Grow, an initiative that beganto get kids growing their own veg at school, helping thousands of schools to get free growing resources.

Schools across Ireland are invited to apply for a food growing kit, which comes with five packs of different seeds and enough compost, growing cups, instructions, and fun lesson plans for the entire class.

Although schools are closed at the moment, the kits will be sent once everyone’s back in class just in time to start the growing season. The growing cups are easy for kids to take home and do the activities in their kitchen too.

The Big Grow has so far helped 1.5 million kids to start growing their own veg, and this year over 200,000 more children will get stuck in to learn something new.

Founder of GIY, Michael Kelly, said: “We are so proud to have reached a 10-year milestone of helping children to grow food at school with innocent through The Big Grow.

“When we began this initiative a decade ago it was a novel concept and some might have thought it wouldn’t catch on. But the feedback we get from the schools, teachers and most importantly the children who take part every year re-affirms that this initiative works, be that in urban, rural or city centre schools.”

Brand manager for innocent drinks Ireland, Rochana Shrestha added: ‘We’re big fans of fruit and veg here at innocent and we’re really proud of The Big Grow seeing as it helps kids to grow their own.

“Over the last ten years, we’ve made it our mission to reach over half the primary school kids in Ireland with this healthy-eating project, so it’s great that more schools are taking part again this year. Getting kids excited about veg is what it’s all about.’

Schools taking part in The Big Grow will be encouraged to share their experiences online to be in with a chance of being crowned The Big Grow Champs 2021, and be awarded a school garden revamp.

Teachers can sign up for a free food growing kit at www.innocentbiggrow.com. Registration is still open while stocks last, and kits will be sent once schools open again based on government guidelines.

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