Groundbreaking schools program promotes healthy eating and sustainable food choices for children.
Dubai, UAE: Spinneys, the leading UAE supermarket chain known for its high-quality produce, is launching the region’s first comprehensive healthy eating and sustainable food program for children with support from UAE government entities and local farms.
The fun educational program, called Farm to Table, will show children aged 7-10 years how food is produced both locally and internationally, and its journey to their dinner tables. The program will also encourage healthier, more sustainable diets for children and their families.
“Farm to Table is a key pillar of Spinneys’ aim to educate 1 million individuals by 2023 about healthy and sustainable diets, helping communities live healthier, more sustainable lives.” said Sunil Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, Spinneys.
“As a local supermarket we have a responsibility to contribute to sustainable food production and help improve the lives of citizens and residents. This program will play a part not only in improving the health and well-being of our children and their families, but will also raise awareness on how to reduce food waste and eat more responsibly, helping to secure a brighter future for all.”
Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, leads high-level support of the initiative.
“The UAE National Food Security Strategy 2051 aims to enable sustainable food production, enhance local production, and activate policies to improve nutrition and reduce waste. We are delighted to see Spinneys and others contributing to the national strategy through this Farm to Table program.” said Almheiri.
“A core part of transforming our food systems to more sustainable ones is by fostering a deeper, more critical connection between our people, food and the environment. We want our communities to ask questions about their food and engage in a dialogue about the future of food and water sustainability. The Farm to Table initiative will help us achieve these goals.”
Farm to Table will help to tackle major health and lifestyle challenges in the UAE. Global research proves that children’s health is the foundation of lifelong health, with many children taking healthier habits into adulthood.
Conversely, overweight children are more likely to become overweight adults. Over half of children in the UAE have high confectionary and fast-food consumption, and low fruit and vegetable consumption. 25% of 7-10 year olds are overweight or obese.
In response to these challenges, Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre has worked closely with the team behind Farm to Table to develop the educational resources.
“Encouraging a healthy diet and active lifestyle is key in improving quality of life for people living in the UAE.” said His Excellency Matar Saeed Al Nuaimi, Director General, Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre.
“Farm to Table is a wonderful opportunity to teach future generations how to improve eating habits. A better diet reduces the risk of obesity and other lifestyle diseases, which in turn reduces the risks of being hospitalized from coronavirus and other illnesses, so this is an initiative we strongly support.”
Farm to Table launches this week with the first 15 schools entering the formal program. In total, 50 government and private schools will take part this academic year.
Students are guided through 5 learning modules, participating in activities and games. Teachers also benefit from support and top tips from qualified dieticians, enhancing their ability to facilitate student learning.
In a further show of commitment to the UAE’s public health and sustainability, Spinneys is making the educational resources available to all in the hope that more schools and households will choose to benefit from fun, engaging content.
Through its focus on healthy diets and sustainable consumption, Farm to Table will contribute to the UAE’s Food Security Strategy for 2051, by raising awareness of how and what people eat impacts others and the environment.
A number of other entities from government and the private sector are contributing their expertise to Farm to Table, including local farms and social impact agency Interact, with further announcements expected later this month.
Spinneys’ story started in 1961 when the first supermarket opened in Al Nasr Square. It has since grown to be one of the most favourite premium supermarket retailers in the region, with 61 stores across the UAE. Much loved by expats and locals in the region, Spinneys enjoys a well-deserved reputation for forward thinking, keeping pace with changes in cooking trends and the emergence of new products worldwide. Today, Spinneys Dubai, owned by UAE national Mr Ali Albwardy, has built a strong name for supplying top quality produce and offering a high level of customer service. Yet food standards, safety and freshness have always been at the forefront of the company’s ethos – just one reason why the Spinneys brand is defined as ‘The fresher experience’.