Comet Bay PS and Woolworths - working together

Most parents are supportive of the Crunch&Sip program, however, some students may not be able to bring fruit and vegetables from home every day. One strategy that schools may like to consider is asking a local retailer to supply fresh produce for Crunch&Sip.

Comet Bay Primary School in Secret Harbour has done just that, partnering with their local Woolworths to ensure all of their students have access to good food at school. We spoke to Sharon Baxter, Health Coordinator and classroom teacher at Comet Bay Primary School, about how the partnership came about.

1. How was the partnership with Woolworths formed?

Our partnership with Woolworths has developed and gained momentum over the last four years.

We identified our local Woolworths shop in Secret Harbour as a valued community partner due to their support of our 2015 and 2016 Great Aussie Crunch events, and our yearly Walk Over October and Ride to School days. The Woolworths team have always generously supplied fresh produce to help make our events successful. Rather than shopping around we wanted to maintain the relationship with our local Woolworths.

In mid-2016, our then principal, Matthew Osborne, approached our local Woolworths manager and told him about our school’s unique Breakfast Program and School Kitchen Garden Program. He asked if they would like to build a stronger relationship and help to sustain such programs by providing fresh produce for free. We were very thankful that they said “YES!”

The partnership is now coordinated by our current school principal, Graeme Watson, and myself (Health Coordinator and classroom teacher) working alongside Woolworths store manager Natasha Angus and assistant store manager Hamish Briggs. Definitely a team effort!

2. How does Woolworths support your school?

The partnership involves the provision of fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables such as oranges, pears, apples, carrots, mandarins and kiwi fruit, delivered by Woolworths staff every Friday morning. This supplies each of our Breakfast Club students with a piece of fruit or vegetables for the day.

Not only do they supply produce, but Woolworths staff members Terri Hawkins and Staci Heffer help to prepare the fruit, serve students their breakfast and even wash the dirty dishes! They willingly donate approximately 45 minutes each week just to help out.

Woolworths also helped build a new garden bed in front of one of our classrooms and arranged a supply of seedlings.  Managers from the store happily worked alongside our year six Environmental Ambassadors to plant out the plot over the course of a morning. It was a successful day for all involved.

3. What does the school offer to Woolworths in return?

In terms of what our school offers Woolworths in return…our sincere thanks and appreciation. We like to share good news stories like this with our community so we thanked Woolworths Secret Harbour during this year’s Growing Together Day ceremony and we often remind our families of the great service Woolworths offers our school via our newsletter, School App and Facebook page.

4. Do you have any further advice for school staff wanting to partner with a local retailer?

Take the time to go and approach your local supermarket or greengrocer and make a connection. You’ll never know if you never go!