When Louise introduced the Food for Families program to her students at Buninyong Uniting Kindergarten, she never knew how widely popular it would become among families.
“Last year it started out just something my group was doing because it fit in with discussions that we’d had,” said Uniting Early Learning Educator, Louise.
“It was so popular we decided it was something we wanted to add to our program every year.”
Louise recalls one particular event which caused quite a stir in her class.
“One of the children once brought in a tin of baked beans. He showed them off to the class and started laughing,” she said.
“He said to all the children, ‘you know about baked beans? Beans, beans, the magical fruit, the more you eat the more you toot.’
“So, ever since then every child would bring in a can of baked beans and a couple of other items.”
Louise says the program has been a great way to teach her students about compassion.
“We had lots of intentional discussions about people that are in need,” she said.
“Children started sharing that they visited the city and saw people sleeping at the train station or on the street. It helped them become more aware of these issues in the community.
“In Buninyong, we are in a very high economic area. For some of the children it was a shock that there are people who don’t have a home or can’t afford to eat.
“Food For Families helps to encourage them to be open minded about other situations and not be judgemental.”
This year, Buninyong Uniting Kindergarten also collected winter blankets, clothes and toys to pass on to those in need.
“The children are so proud,” said Louise.
“They absolutely love the program.”