Ka Pai Kai’s gets a $10k RECT boost

Rotorua Review - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - BENN BATHGATE

Ro­torua chil­dren head­ing to school with lit­tle or no lunch could soon be a thing of the past, with the Ro­torua En­ergy Char­i­ta­ble Trust help­ing a lo­cal or­gan­i­sa­tion fill the lunch boxes of those in need.

RECT has given $10,800 to the Ka Pai Kai Ro­torua Char­i­ta­ble Trust to help en­sure Ro­torua kids at some of the re­gion’s low­est decile schools, early learn­ing cen­tres and ko­hanga reo get the nu­tri­tious food they need to learn and thrive.

The fund­ing will help the or­gan­i­sa­tion with set-up costs, in­clud­ing a 12-month kitchen lease.

Ka Pai Kai Ro­torua Char­i­ta­ble Trust chair­woman Jas­min Jack­son said the grant from the Ro­torua Trust re­moves the worry of find­ing a home for the char­ity and al­lows them to fo­cus on the job of mak­ing lunches.

‘‘Good nu­tri­tion, par­tic­u­larly break­fast and lunch, is as­so­ci­ated with im­proved learn­ing out­comes. Ka Pai Kai Ro­torua of­fers a more af­ford­able op­tion and a health­ier choice for par­ents and schools to choose from.’’

Jack­son said the pilot of the ini­tia­tive this term is ‘‘go­ing great’’, and 350 chil­dren a day could ben­e­fit once it’s up and run­ning at full ca­pac­ity.

‘‘Vol­un­teers make and de­liver the lunches and all lunches are sold at cost, in­clud­ing a hot op­tion in win­ter.’’

RECT chair­man Ste­wart Ed­ward de­scribes Ka Pai Kai as an ex­cit­ing, proac­tive ini­tia­tive.

Ed­ward said early in­vest­ment in chil­dren’s health can have a longterm im­pact on their learn­ing and fu­ture, and Ka Pai Kai Ro­torua’s work fits well with sev­eral of the Trust’s key pri­or­ity out­come ar­eas.

‘‘The Trust’s kau­papa is to play a role in mak­ing a bet­ter Ro­torua for all.’’

As well as giv­ing chil­dren and their par­ents ac­cess to healthy, af­ford­able food, Ka Pai Kai Ro­torua gives schools the op­por­tu­nity to pro­mote healthy eat­ing and good nu­tri­tion, and mem­bers of the com­mu­nity can gain work ex­pe­ri­ence by vol­un­teer­ing. Lo­cal food sup­pli­ers and busi­nesses are also sup­ported.

The Ka Pai Kai Ro­torua grant was one of 19 grants ap­proved in Au­gust, worth a to­tal of $118,458.

Funds will also go to help Netball Ro­torua resur­face the netball courts and as­sist­ing Te Roopu Raranga ki Ro­torua with its weavers’ ex­hi­bi­tion.

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