Galway school announced as winner of Big Grow competition

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galway daily big grow competition st patricks healthy food award

St. Patrick’s Boys and Girls Primary School in Lombard Street has been announced as the winners of this year’s Innocent Big Grow competition.

The competition, which has for nine years been encouraging young people to grow their own fruit and vegetables, was entered by over 56,000 pupils nationwide.

The Galway school made a good start to the competition in February, but when the school closed because of the pandemic, the pupils brought their enthusiasm home and submitted daily gardening photos, cooking videos, art, music, poetry and research about healthy eating.

St. Patrick’s Boys and Girls Primary School also worked closely with the Galway and Claddagh Swan Rescue Sanctuary – which used the the peas, lettuce, spinach and potatoes grown by the pupils to feed their birds.

GIY founder Michael Kelly explained that studies show children who grow their own food are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables and show higher levels of knowledge about nutrition.

“The children not only learn the science of growing, they also experience the joy of growing and eating their own food,” he said. “GIY calls this ‘food empathy’, which is a deeper connection with food, and is proven to lead to a healthier life long-term.”