Carter­ton man wants free fruit in schools

Wairarapa News - - FRONT PAGE - ILLYA MCLEL­LAN

A Carter­ton man has a dream to give ev­ery stu­dent in Wairarapa the chance to eat a piece of fruit ev­ery day grown at their own school.

Hay­den Mis­chef­ski has put a to­tal of 30 man­darin and fei­joa trees into eight schools in Carter­ton and Master­ton and, if he can get fund­ing, is aim­ing to in­crease the pro­gramme to cover the en­tire Wairarapa.

When he first moved to Carter­ton eight years ago, Mis­chef­ski said there was a lot of me­dia cov­er­age re­gard­ing the lack of fresh fruit in New Zealand chil­dren’s di­ets and the way some fam­i­lies just couldn’t af­ford it.

With a son of his own, Mis­chef­ski knew the im­por­tance of chil­dren hav­ing a proper diet and fondly re­counts spend­ing time on his grand­par­ents’ farm as a child learn­ing the value of grow­ing your own food.

‘‘I looked into ways I could ac­tively do some­thing in the com­mu­nity and started a fruit do­na­tion ser­vice called Glow Bugs where peo­ple could gift ex­tra fruit they had to food banks and other char­ity ser­vices.

‘‘I then thought about how great it would be to ac­tu­ally put fruit trees into schools so kids at cer­tain times of the year could just get a piece of fruit at school.

‘‘So far I have man­aged to crowd-source money to put a num­ber of trees into sev­eral dif­fer­ent schools.’’

One of the schools, South End in Carter­ton, was al­ready in­volved in the na­tion­wide En­vi­roschools project to think and act sus­tain­ably.

Part of that project is to grow food and teach chil­dren the ben­e­fits of proper nu­tri­tion and a bal­anced diet.

Teacher Julie Jones said they were happy for Mis­chef­ski to con­trib­ute to their ex­ist­ing project.

‘‘He is re­ally pas­sion­ate about mak­ing a dif­fer­ence and said he wanted to ex­pand the project re­gion-wide, which sounds like a great idea. We al­ready had some trees but the ad­di­tional trees Hay­den supplied will def­i­nitely help.’’

Stu­dent Oliver San­dall said he loved the project and had seen older stu­dents do­ing it so wanted to be­come in­volved.

‘‘I’ve been on the En­vi­roschools project for three years now and I think it’s great.’’

Mis­chef­ski’s Glow Bugs char­ity can be found on Face­book and he wel­comes any as­sis­tance peo­ple are able to pro­vide.

ILLYA MCLEL­LAN/STUFF

South End School stu­dents, from left, Zack, Kas­par and Oliver are en­thu­si­as­tic about hav­ing fruit trees at their school.

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