VOLUNTEERS help make the world go round, and at Torquay College, they keep the kitchen garden growing as well.
To mark National Volunteer Week, the school has paid tribute to about 30 volunteers involved in its Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program, which has 14 classes and is attended by all of Torquay College’s more than 300 Grade 5 and 6 pupils.
Terri Mintram, who helps co-ordinate the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden, said each group had a class every four weeks.
“They’re either cooking in the kitchen – and we make five different dishes – and all sit down and taste the food together, or they’re gardening.
“Basically, it’s appreciation of what we’re growing in the garden, to harvesting it, bringing it into the kitchen and cooking with it. Our recipes revolve around what we grow in the garden.”
She said there were four Stephanie Alexander classes each week, with four volunteers needed for each class, so the program would be impossible to run without people giving up their time to help.
“In winter, a lot of people get sick, so that’s when we really need extra help in here. If we don’t have enough volunteers, it’s probably not safe in the kitchen, so we have to reduce what we’re cooking.
“A lot of the volunteers love it, they enjoy working with the kids; and the kids really love working with the older generation as well. Sometimes we have uni students.”
Ms Mintram said although there were 30 volunteers on the books at the school, everyone was not always available, so she was keen to sign more people up.
“They don’t have to have cooking experience whatsoever, they just have to enjoy working with the kids – but even if they want to come in and not work with the kids, they can come in and do other jobs.”