From Garden to Fork: Serving Locally Grown Fruits and Vegetables in Johannesburg, S.A. Schools

Sep 17, 2015
11:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Foster Auditorium

Dr. Hema Kesa (University of Johannesburg) and Dr. Amit Sharma (Penn State)

The School Food Gardens Programme is a pillar of the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) in South Africa. Its purpose is to develop students' skills in producing their school's food. It also serves as a resource for teaching and learning. Schools participating in NSNP are required to implement food production initiatives given available resources. In 2011, The Department of Basic Education purchased and distributed 16 vegetable tunnels and other agricultural resources to support schools in sustaining their vegetable gardens. A variety of vegetables such as cabbage, spinach, beetroot and onion were planted, making available essential nutrients in school meals. School  gardens also help to ensure that indigenous knowledg:e is preserved and passed on to future generations. However, the motivation for supporting the school gardens is not purely altrustic. Socio-economic trends play a crucial role. This presentation will identify the various motivations for school gardens and discuss whether their current incentives would assure sustainability. Dr. Kesa will share the South African perspective and Dr. Sharma will present the U.S. perspective on farm to school programs.

Dr. Hema Kesa has a doctorate in Food Service Management specializing in Cornmunity Nutrition. Her research includes community nutrition, maternal nutrition, community engagement, food service, nutrition and healthy lifestyles. Dr. Amit Sharma is Associate Professor of Hospitality Finanace in the School of Hospitality Management, and the Director of the Food Decisions Research Laboratory. His research focuses on the cost-benefit and economic aspects of food decisions, particularly in food service environments.

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