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100,000 Children set to Grow their own Food with GIY & SuperValu’s ‘Let’s GROW’ Initiative by the end of 2024

Posted on: 28 Feb 2024

SuperValu, and not-for-profit social enterprise, GIY have teamed up for the second year to bring the ‘SuperValu Let's GROW’ programme to another 50,000 primary school children throughout Ireland this spring. This means that 100,000 primary school children will have been educated in growing food through the ‘SuperValu Let's GROW’ initiative, having been supplied with the resources to grow their own fresh food for free at school. The partnership aims to elevate the significance of homegrown food within classrooms and households across Ireland. 


The 2024 nationwide campaign was announced today (February 28th) at Solas Chríost National School in Tallaght, Dublin, who were crowned the winners of the 2023 initiative, after they developed and adopted their own food growing grading system that accessed how the pupils made food growing even more interesting via creativity and imagination. The school was awarded with a new school garden to the value of €1,000 from SuperValu which was installed by GIY.


Each school that participates will receive a ‘SuperValu Let’s GROW’ classroom pack, featuring all the necessary tools for both food growing and food literacy education designed by GIY. The 2024 packs will include a variety of seeds such as cress, peas, salad leaves, beans and sunflowers.  As well as the seeds, the pack comprises of 32 compostable pots, 32 magic compost discs and an expert GIY resource booklet with growing guides, lessons and activities created by GIY, to enhance the learning experience. All of the participating schools nationwide will be in with a chance to win a school garden.


Research carried out by GIY shows that when children grow some of their own food they develop what we call “food empathy”, a deeper connection with food, which is proven to lead to a healthier lifestyle.


GIY Founder and CEO Michael Kelly says, “Food-empathetic children have better diets, eat more fruit and vegetables and have a better understanding of food and nutrition. At a time when Ireland still has among the highest rates of childhood obesity in the EU, establishing a deeper connection with food is more important than ever. In addition, children who have grown some of their own food are more likely to try new foods at home as a result. Not only is this important for the future health of our nation but it is also an opportunity to provide children with the life skills to grow their own food and obtain a natural appreciation for fresh, seasonal, healthy foods.”


Michael continued, “We are delighted to be able to bring this programme into schools again this year in the second year of our partnership with SuperValu, which means we will have given 100,000 children the gift of a lifelong skill and started them on the magic journey of growing. It’s always a thrill to see the excitement of kids when the SuperValu Let’s GROW kits arrive in their classroom every year!”


Building on the success of empowering children to grow their own food in schools, and in line with SuperValu’s sustainability campaign, SuperValu’s 'Take Local Action, Make Global Impact' campaign, aimed at showcasing the small actions everyone can take in their homes, stores and towns to make a collective global impact, SuperValu and GIY are excited to announce that the initiative is growing beyond the classroom. GIY GROWBoxes will also be available in selected SuperValu stores nationwide. The expansion of the ‘Let’s GROW’ initiative ensures that the joy and learning experience of growing food can extend to every home, allowing families to deepen their connection with the food on their tables. 


Launching the 2024 Let’s GROW initiative, SuperValu Managing Director Ian Allen said: SuperValu is once again delighted to be working with GIY for the second year of the ‘Let’s GROW initiative, empowering school children to learn essential skills with a long-lasting impact. By the end of 2024, this initiative will have empowered 100,000 primary school students to grow their own food, fostering a deeper understanding of healthy eating, sustainability, and the lifelong benefits of cultivating one's own food. Our commitment to supporting communities is exemplified through initiatives like these, as Ireland's leading grocery retailer, where we take our responsibility for shaping the next generation's awareness of healthier and more sustainable eating practices.”


Last year’s winning teacher Alan McDonnell at Solas Chríost National School in Tallaght, “Alan McDonnell said: “We were delighted to take part in the SuperValu Let’s GROW campaign and we were even more delighted to win. The children loved the opportunity to get their hands into the soil and when they saw food growing as a result of their efforts they were hooked. This initiative is a brilliant opportunity for children to not only learn a new skill, but also interact with each other and their teachers in a new way and learn all about the food system.”


School teachers are invited to apply online for a free ‘SuperValu Let’s GROW’ food growing pack at www.supervaluletsgrow.ie available while supplies last. Additionally, families looking to start their own growing journey can visit their local SuperValu store to pick up a GIY GROWBox.





Top 5 Tips for Growing Food with Kids 


  • Kids love sowing seeds (or indeed anything that involves getting their hands dirty). Bigger seeds like those from peas, beans, squashes, pumpkins and courgettes are easier for younger children to handle.
  • Give kids some autonomy in the veg patch. Give them a dedicated raised bed or part of a bed for them to experiment with. Let them grow what they want to grow.
  • Encourage them to grow fruit and vegetables that are fast growing so that they see a quick return. Radishes are a good example. Runner beans and sunflowers will get tall quickly. Get them to measure themselves against the plants each week.
  • Encourage them to sample crops out in the veg patch. They will love grazing on sweet carrots, tomatoes, strawberries and peas, and it will help develop their palette.
  • The top GIY activities for kids are sowing seeds, digging and watering. Basically, the messier the job, the more they will love it.