Pulling in a team of top minds to run the successful Garden to Table Trust, renowned foodie, author and trust founder Catherine Bell is getting back to the grass roots level of the not-for-profit organisation.   

Catherine has handed the role of chairman to experienced company director and NPO enthusiast Ray Kingston. In addition Anne Barrowclough assumes the role of interim executive officer of the trust. Catherine’s new title is Garden to Table founder and trustee. The move enables her to focus on the overarching vision she has for Garden to Table – that every New Zealand child can learn how to grow, harvest and prepare their own food.

“I am passionate about food and education and with the wealth of experience Ray and Anne bring with them, in addition to the other long serving trustees, I can get back to the core of what the trust is all about – teaching children to understand where food comes from and to enjoy good food,” says Catherine. “I feel very proud of what we have achieved during the first five years. However as with all organisations, it is essential to evolve and grow and part of this entails bringing on board fresh thinking every now and then.  

“I am looking forward to focusing on what I do best. That means I remain involved in the trust’s fundraising and sponsorship and in maintaining the philosophy of the GTT programme. As spokesperson my time is now freed up to focus on encouraging more people to be involved in seed-to-plate eating in their schools and homes. I look forward to seeing the charity continue to flourish.” With a long career including chairman and board roles in both public and private enterprises, Ray Kingston brings vast governance experience and passion for the not-for-profit sector, as well as a wealth of business expertise in guiding and mentoring SMEs.

“You can’t help but be wowed by the work GTT has achieved to date,” Ray says.  “Seeing the delight on children’s faces who have grown, harvested and then created delicious healthy meals from their produce is priceless. “GTT is providing them with an educational experience they will never forget. I’m looking forward to working with the trust board and executive team to continue to grow GTT and seeing more Kiwi children enjoy the fruits of their labour.”

Newly appointed interim executive officer Anne Barrowclough’s extensive experience in both the business and not-for-profit sectors will help develop the charity’s partnerships with schools, funders, sponsors, volunteers and communities throughout New Zealand. With huge demand from schools nationwide to establish the GTT programme, the trust is looking to gain on-going funding for both this and for the executive management role which is vital for the operational infrastructure of GTT and its continued growth and expansion.

About the Garden to Table Trust

The Garden to Table Trust is a charitable organisation that operates a programme in New Zealand schools where children aged between seven and 10 learn about good food. The youngsters are taught how to grow, harvest, prepare and share food using purpose-built gardens and kitchen facilities.

Through its programme the trust educates children about food, horticulture and their natural environment, primarily to positively influence their food choices. As a consequence they learn about the environment and sustainability and enrich their curriculum subjects through hands-on learning. The programme also has many positive spin-offs for family and community life.

The trust was established in 2008 by food writer Catherine Bell. It is modelled on Australia’s successful and well documented Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program.

www.gardentotable.org.nz

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