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Food Sense Wales has been working with the the Instituto Maniva in Brazil to develop a new and inspiring food initiative for schools called Leekit.

The Leekit has been inspired by the Tapiokit, an education workshop developed by the Maniva Institute focusing on the food culture of cassava.  Chef, food activist and academic Teresa Corção from the Institute visited Wales in February 2024 to help deliver the workshops to teachers and pupils to see how their approach to engaging children with local produce would work with a different type of vegetable in a different country with a unique food culture and heritage.

Having been re-developed and tailored specifically for teachers and pupils in Wales, Food Sense Wales worked with Teresa Corção along with a team of prominent Welsh food leaders to give the Leekit a distinctive Welsh flavour, including food historian Carwyn Graves and the Dietetic Team at the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.

During her visit, Teresa along with the Wales-based team of authors met with teachers from Pentrebane Primary School in Cardiff to run a training workshop on the Leekit before helping the teaching staff to deliver sessions to children in years 2 and 4.  With a focus on leeks, the children learnt to cook with the vegetable; learnt more about its nutritional value and its health benefits, while also exploring its rich history and deep Welsh connections.  The aim was to introduce children to their food culture, immersing them in their very own food stories and connecting them with where their food comes from.

This collaborative trans-continental project is funded by the UNDP’s Conscious Food Systems Alliance (CoFSA) – a movement of food, agriculture, and consciousness practitioners, convened by UNDP, and united around a common goal: to support people from across food and agriculture systems to cultivate the inner capacities that activate systemic change and regeneration.  The Leekit offers an opportunity to learn from some of the pioneering work being implemented in Brazil and explore whether Wales could look at food in a similar way, specifically through harnessing the Well-Being of Future Generations Act.

Read more about the project here.