‘Eat Grow Save’ Initiative Graduation Ceremony

October 18, 2020

On Thursday evening the Department of Health held a graduation ceremony for the most recent graduates of their ‘Eat Grow Save’ initiative with lead instructor Chaplin Kevin Santucci.

A Government spokesperson said, “The eight-week workshop was created to encourage residents to start home gardens and featured several guest speakers including Norwood Salaam [Bermuda Agriculture Group], Vanese Gordon [Education Enforcement Officer, Works and Engineering], Claire Jessey [Plant Protection Officer, Department of Environment and Natural Resources], Tommy Sinclair, Principal Agriculture Officer, Department of Environment and Natural Resources,  Steven Douglas,  Daren Bean and Jeff Sousa, JP.

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“The Director of the Department of Health Mr. David Kendell provided welcoming remarks on Thursday and handed out certificates to graduates of the Grow, Eat, Save Workshop.”

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“Initiatives such as this show us how we can make fruits and vegetables available, accessible, and sustainable for our residents – supporting the Ministry of Health’s vision for a healthier Bermuda,” said Mr. Kendell.

“This workshop encourages the planting of several types of fruits and vegetables to allow for variety in our diet as we try and reach those five daily servings. Healthy eating, as we know, can greatly assist in preventing many non-communicable diseases such as obesity, hypertension and Type 2 diabetes.

“Furthermore, in the development and maintenance of a productive garden, digging, hoeing, pulling weeds and raking are just some of the activity required; all of which support a strategy for ‘HEAL’ - Healthy Eating Active Living.

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“The class also nurtures ’Healthy Communities’ in several ways. Firstly, it teaches Bermudians about their unique culture in terms of the tried and tested planting methods used by generations of local farmers before us. This includes knowing what, where and when to plant as well as what free natural fertilizer resources are available to us.

“Secondly, it teaches environmental responsibility as instructed by the Environmental Protection Officer. Not every plant, insect or chemical is best suited to maintain flora balance within our community.  It also encourages recycling of waste and proper use of water – two other environmentally sustainable initiatives.

“Thirdly, it supports social interaction. Working in teams with volunteer group leaders encourages teamwork, innovation, and problem solving.  Within each plot are different personalities, abilities and gifts all working toward a common goal; all growing together!

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“A huge thanks to head gardening instructor Chaplain Santucci and his team of assistant gardening instructors, and volunteers who produce one of the finest gardening classes that has ever been conducted in Bermuda for free.”

The spokesperson added, “The event closed with the Department of Health’s Health Promotion Officer Virloy Lewin encouraging attendees to share what they have learned with their fellow Bermudians and to plant more community gardens.

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“Thursday night’s recipients were: Brenda Swan, Brenda Webb, Bridgitte Simons, Celia Jones, Chantel Smith, Charles Edward Paul, Daurene Aubrey, Debra Kirkpatrick, Delores Price, Dexter Robinson, Shaimeka Ingham, Keitha Caines, Gail Parker, Geraldine Lee, Jacqueline Lightbourne, Jerome Robinson, Karen McCottry, Paul AW Smith, Phil Jones,  Ranae Bean, Rhita Love Daniels, Sasha Svintcitckaia, James F. Stowe, Tene Jackson, Tequila Lathan, Francoise Wolffe and Derek Lightbourne.

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“Over 400 people have participated in the initiative since its inception in 2017.

“The next Grow, Eat, Save will be offered in January 2021. For more information please email nutrition@gov.bm or call 278-6467 or 278-6469.”

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