Popular healthy eating programme needs help
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.