Lyndhurst Secondary College
Lyndhurst Secondary College is a busy secondary college with 722 students, located in the suburb of Cranbourne in the outer southeast suburbs of Melbourne.
The school focuses on empowering students for learning and life. With this in mind, when they were offered the opportunity to host the School Breakfast Clubs Program Cooking Classes, they grabbed that opportunity with confidence.
The College invited students and their primary carers to attend the four week program, once a week. The Foodbank Victoria team came along with the equipment and ingredients, and the rest was up to the participants to get cooking.
The food is great
One major benefit that the Lyndhurst Secondary College students found was learning how to cook simple meals, like pizza from scratch and rice paper rolls.
Often these students don’t cook at home or like to try new foods. These classes taught them basic cooking skills for life, and when they made the food, they wanted to eat the food too. Trying new foods was good in the end!
It’s the social life
Schools report that there is so much more to these Cooking Classes than the fabulous cooking skills the kids learn. Often the social side of things shines through.
One of the participants brought their Primary Carer along, their grandparent. The grandparent was thrilled to have an opportunity to spend some bonding time with her grandchild, and to get some help with cooking in the evenings at home too.
Another student came along with their Primary Carer who was a Government Mentor. The mentor liked the benefit of spending time with their student, and also getting to know the school staff better.
Food hampers were essential
Each week the groups attending receive a full box of food, valued at $55 per box. These recipe boxes are filled with fresh ingredients (fruit, vegetables and herbs) as well as culturally diverse dry goods such as rice, olive oil, spices, noodles, nori and pita breads.
Participants are encouraged to use the food to cook the recipes that they are learning in the classes.
The families at Lyndhurst Secondary College found these hampers an incentive to attend the classes each week, and they also found that they provided enormous relief to their food shopping bills at the supermarkets.
They would use the food to try the recipes, but also to add to their normal cooking ideas too.
Testimonials from Lyndhurst Secondary College
“The impact of this program on our school community is so much more than feeding families and ensuring everyone has a full belly at school and at home.
This program has enabled us to establish and foster positive working partnerships between school and home. It has enabled students and their parents and carers to find common interests through cooking and instilling a culture where time between family members is shared and valued.
For us as a college, one of the greatest benefits was being able to see students continue their learning alongside their parent/carer/significant adult and to hear that this continues at home with new routines of cooking and enjoying a meal together.
Undoubtedly, this has also benefitted student engagement with school, connection to school and parent/carer involvement and trust with our college. We believe the work Foodbank has done with our college will have long term positive impact on the students and families involved both academically and socially.”
Eloise Haynes | Lyndhurst Secondary College Principal
“I like cooking and I enjoyed eating the food after because it was yum. The staff there were very nice.
We got to bring home big boxes of food to cook at home. This meant that we were able to cook different meals together and eat together as a family.
I would 1oo% go back and do this program again.”
Abbie W | Year 7 Student