New food-in-schools initiative commended

Press Release 28/05/2013

ks2The NZ Food & Grocery Council commends Fonterra, Sanitarium, and the Government for the extension of the highly successful KickStart breakfast programme for schools, CEO Katherine Rich said today.

“The Government’s announcement of support for the extension of the KickStart programme will make a huge difference to children who need it most.

“Extending KickStart to all schools and taking it from two days to five days a week is exactly the type of targeted support that is needed.

“Eating breakfast regularly is an important part of a healthy diet. Research shows that eating breakfast plays a big part in improving the nutritional health of children, which has a positive effect on academic performance and concentration. Basically, their ability to learn is enhanced.

“This is another positive example of the food and grocery sector demonstrating its commitment to working together to give back to local New Zealand communities, particularly where children are involved.”

The KickStart programme, which was started by Food & Grocery Council members Sanitarium and Fonterra in 2009, delivers 48,000 breakfasts each week to children in 570 decile 1-4 schools, and has now delivered more than 5 million servings.

Some other initiatives undertaken by FGC members to support school children include:

  • George Weston Foods' ‘Nourish Our Kids’ programme distributes free bread to low-decile schools. George Weston, in partnership with KidsCan Charitable Trust, will by the end of this year triple the number of decile 1-4 primary and intermediate schools that receive Tip Top bread.
  • Fonterra’s ‘Milk for Schools’ programme delivers free milk to every primary school that wishes to receive it.
  • Goodman Fielder recently launched the ‘Goodman Fielder Cares Trust’, which will build on their existing Bread Donation Programme which has resulted in one million fresh loaves being delivered to more than 60 food banks and City Missions across New Zealand in the past seven years.
  • Tasti Products supplies more than one million muesli bars at cost to low-decile schools each year.
  • FGC members are part of the Heart Foundation’s fuelled4life programme, a collaborative initiative which is providing information on healthier food choices to 2500 schools and 4300 early childhood education services.
  • ABE’S Bagel Bakery’s bagels-in-schools programme supplies bagels to every decile 1 primary school in New Zealand. The programme has been running since 2003.
  • Harraways recently started a roll-out of its ‘Breakfast Club’ for schools which focuses on healthier food options for pre-schoolers through to university students by providing product and nutritional information and guidelines.
  • GlaxoSmithKline and EasiYo are significant supporters of KidsCan.
  • Nestle’s ‘Be Healthy, Be Active’ online education resource, in collaboration with Learning Media, is aimed at year 7 & 8 teachers for pupils aged between 10-13 years of age, which are critical years in forming lifetime habits of eating well and enjoying being active.
  • Nestle’s ‘Cook for Life’ programme teaches young people in South Auckland how to cook healthy, tasty, and affordable meals.
  • Heinz Wattie’s has introduced ‘Project Cook’, which is designed to be used in the technology curriculum for years 7 & 8 to help pupils make healthier food choices and to cook basic foods.
  • SCA Hygiene donates school resource kits for girls in every school.
  • Colgate ‘Bright Smiles, Bright Futures’ programme helps children build healthy habits. Since its launch in 1997 it has educated more than 6 million children in New Zealand and Australia, and in 2012 it distributed 4000 educational and paste/brush kits to schools equating to 128,000 brushes and pastes.