Rotorua students will soon have the opportunity to have healthy and affordable lunches delivered to school through the collaborative efforts of the social enterprise programme, Ka Pai Kai Rotorua.
The pilot programme will be delivered by Healthy Families Rotorua and was launched at Waikite Rugby Club this week, where the lunches will be prepared each day.
Four schools, Whakarewarewa School, Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hurungaterangi, Rotorua Primary School and Te Wharekura o Ngāti Rongomai will be taking part.
Healthy Families Settings Manager, Pollyanne Taare says without the support of community organisations like Waikite and their charitable trust board members, providing this service would not be possible.
It’s about collectively gettng together, no one can do anything on their own in this community,” Pollyanne says.
“To have Waikite come on and the board members who bring their experience, their networks, their spheres of influence. We all share the same goals and that is to provide healthy kai for our kids.”
Offering an affordable and healthy lunch was the main aim of the programme, Pollyanne says.
“It’s the alternative to the pie or coke down the road. We’re not into running tuckshops out of business or anything like that, it’s just that here is an option there for parents that is healthy and low cost,” she says.
The programme has been modelled on the successful Ka Pai Kai Tokoroa which are delivering lunches to South Waikato schools.
“As of the organisation is concerned, it’s a social enterprise. We’re giving people the opportunity to train here in the kitchen. Which is where EmployNZ are providing the first wave of catering students, with Toi Ohomai [Institute of Technology], along with professional chefs who have donated their time to us,” Pollyanne says.
Corporate sponsorship has been provided through Te Arawa Fisheries and no profit is made, all funds are returned back into the food.
“The launch was a really special day for us as it has been eight months in the planning. A lot of research has been put into this, it can’t be a one off, it has to be sustainable. Which is why getting community on board to run it, to own it, to drive it is the key.”