Grant helps to pro­vide low-cost meals for kids

Rotorua Daily Post - - Local News -

A fund­ing boost will see more Ro­torua pri­mary school chil­dren able to or­der a nu­tri­tious and af­ford­able lunch as Ka Pai Kai Ro­torua gears up to fill as many young bel­lies as pos­si­ble.

It’s hoped the $12,500 grant from BayTrust will help the char­ity ex­pand its low-cost lunch or­der ser­vice into more schools in the near fu­ture.

Nine schools are al­ready in­volved in the ini­tia­tive and the money will help cover op­er­a­tional costs so the pro­gramme can con­tinue to ex­pand.

Ka Pai Kai trea­surer Aroha Dorset said they were “ab­so­lutely stoked”.

“Be­cause we only sell lunches at cost, we need to find money to fund all of our over­heads. Ev­ery bit helps, es­pe­cially when we’re start­ing off and try­ing to grow. Grow­ing ac­tu­ally costs a lot of money.”

Ka Pai Kai Ro­torua is search­ing for a new lo­ca­tion to set up a com­mer­cial kitchen and wants to buy more equip­ment so it can ser­vice more schools.

Dorset said one of their main goals was to be self-sus­tain­ing.

“Ideas on how to do that in­clude sell­ing work­place lunches, frozen meals for fam­ily din­ners, and a lunch bar for lo­cal moun­tain bik­ers or peo­ple at­tend­ing mul­ti­sport events in Ro­torua.

“We’re also look­ing to get into the ed­u­ca­tion space as well by set­ting up cook­ing classes, run­ning school hol­i­day pro­grammes or teach­ing kids about nu­tri­tion in the class­room. We don’t just want to feed them, we want to teach them to feed them­selves.”

Ka Pai Kai Ro­torua be­gan in mid-2017 and now makes and de­liv­ers 600 to 800 school lunches a week. Prices vary from $2.50 for soup and a bread roll, to $4.50 for hot lasagne or cot­tage pie.

Sev­eral cor­po­rate spon­sors have come on board so some schools re­ceive free lunches or a fur­ther dis­count.

“The feed­back we’ve had from schools is at­ten­dance rates are bet­ter and con­cen­tra­tion lev­els are bet­ter,” Dorset said.

In­gre­di­ents are sourced lo­cally where pos­si­ble and each lunch is de­signed to be nu­tri­tious, fill­ing and af­ford­able.

BayTrust chief ex­ec­u­tive Alas­tair Rhodes said the new grant ac­knowl­edged the im­por­tant work Ka Pai Kai was do­ing to ad­dress poverty in the com­mu­nity and help Ro­torua chil­dren to thrive.

PHOTO /FILE

Karyn Rogers pre­par­ing lunches as part of the Ka Pai Kai ini­tia­tive.

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