Kitchen garden helps improve awareness of nutrition and health

Together with clients and employees of Rintveld, part of GGZ Altrecht and specialised in eating disorders, Reinier Veugelers created a kitchen garden for clients. ‘The garden serves as a peaceful place and the crops contribute to food awareness'.

Hago Zorg has been the trusted cleaning partner of GGZ Altrecht and its various locations for many years now. When customer manager Reinier Veugelers heard about the idea of the garden at the Rintveld ward, he was immediately excited and he decided to offer his help. Seeing that GGZ Altrecht had no financial resources of its own to realise the garden, he immediately submitted the project to the Vebego Foundation.

200 square metres of garden
A smart move, because with a financial contribution from the Vebego Foundation, the plan could soon be moved from the drawing board to reality. ‘In May 2021 the first shovel went into the ground and on Monday 5 July the kitchen garden was officially opened,' says Reinier. ‘The garden covers 200 square metres and is filled with fruit trees, vegetables and herbs. There is also a garden where you can pick fruit and flowers.’ Together with his fellow Hago Zorg employees, Reinier also helped with the landscaping of the garden. ‘One of the things we did was build the fence and we constructed a section of the path. It was really fun to do and a great team-building activity as well.

Fresh from the land
The garden is a place where clients can relax and where they can connect with food in an accessible way. Being mindful of food and preparing your own meals with fresh produce is part of the treatment for eating disorders at Rintveld. ‘In the kitchen garden, patients can now grow their own vegetables, observe them, smell them and harvest them. They can experience the process up close and that's a great addition to raising awareness about food and health.' Strawberries, rhubarb, lettuce, mint, carrots and much more; the kitchen garden is full of fresh herbs, vegetables and fruit. And these will soon be used by both clients and supervisors to prepare fresh food.

In addition to the cooperation between GGZ Altrecht, Hago Zorg and the Vebego Foundation, WIJ 3.0 also plays an important role in the creation of the kitchen garden. ‘WIJ 3.0 also manages two other gardens on the Altrecht premises and takes care of the proper maintenance of the kitchen garden. They really know a lot about gardening and crops.’ Reinier had the honour of cutting the traditional ribbon during the opening ceremony. ‘I felt honoured and quite proud that the project got off the ground so quickly and well. Thanks to the Vebego Foundation and the efforts of all those involved and enthusiastic GGZ Altrecht employees and clients.’

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