Pop­u­lar healthy eat­ing pro­gramme needs help

South Waikato News - - Out & About - FRANCES FER­GU­SON

Ka Pai Kai a healthy eat­ing food pro­gramme first pi­loted at Am­is­field Pri­mary in Toko­roa is strug­gling to keep up with the huge de­mand.

Project man­ager from the Waikato District Health Board Zaynel Sushil said the pro­gramme could be at risk of stop­ping.

An un­ex­pected de­mand has pushed re­sources to their limit and the pro­gramme is now strug­gling.

Cur­rently the meals are pre­pared at the Toko­roa Hospi­tal and the in­crease means they can’t ser­vice for the de­mand.

‘‘The chal­lenges lies in schools and the com­mu­nity to value Ka Pai Kai and com­ing to­gether and cre­ate own­er­ship of this pro­gramme.’’

He said there are op­por­tu­ni­ties to con­nect schools to com­mu­nity gar­dens and lo­cal re­tail­ers.

‘‘There’s pos­si­bil­i­ties to in­ject some lo­cal econ­omy and make it more of a com­mu­nity ap­proach and what Ka Pai Kai can do for the com­mu­nity.’’

A com­mu­nity hui was sched­uled at the South Waikato Sport and Events Cen­tre on Tues­day to get feed­back.

‘‘We can’t do any­thing un­til we find a com­mu­nity so­lu­tion and we need the com­mu­nity to come to­gether.

‘‘The truth is if we can’t come to­gether to have a mean­ing­ful dis­cus­sion around what food sovereignty means to this com­mu­nity then I don’t know what will hap­pen.

‘‘A whole gen­er­a­tion might get left out so I’m re­ally hop­ing for pos­i­tive out­comes.’’

There are four schools in Toko­roa on the pro­gramme with more on a wait­ing list.

Schools in Pu­taruru and Te Waotu are also in­ter­ested in join­ing.

The com­mu­nity led in­ter­ven­tion was started to com­bat food in­se­cu­rity in the Waikato re­gion.

Prin­ci­pal of Am­is­field Pri­mary Bex Kil­gour de­cided to use the school to pilot the pro­gramme.

Pro­mot­ing a health­ier food en­vi­ron­ment she joined up with Sarah Turpitt, food ser­vice man­ager at the Waikato DHB to cre­ate a tasty menu.

Kigour said as re­spon­si­ble ed­u­ca­tors the food they pro­vided needed to be the best.

‘‘It was a holis­tic ap­proach in terms of look­ing at the learn­ing and the way our chil­dren learnt and we felt they de­served the best pos­si­ble day at school.’’

Na­bila Abd-el­razek, health pro­moter from WDHB Jocelyn Bra­zier, prin­ci­pal Bex Kil­gour, Ali­son Hop­son and stu­dents Brooke Jansen and Ains­ley Har­ri­son con­tinue to support healthy eat­ing.

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