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Lunchboxes as we know them will never be the same


From 11:30am, May 4th kids lunchboxes as we know them will never be the same!

A loud crunch will be heard throughout Whakatane, as community representatives, teachers and school children simultaneously bite into a piece of fruit to signify the launch of Fruit in Schools in the Eastern Bay.

From Monday 8th May, pupils from Taneatua School, Kawerau North, Te Kura o Te Teko, Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Huiarau (Ruatahuna) and Te Kura Kaupapa Motuhake o Tawhiuau (Murupara) will receive a free piece of fresh export quality fruit every day, for up to three years, as part of Phase Two of the Fruit in Schools programme.

FIS, funded by the Ministry of Heath is rolling out in the Bay of Plenty, Lakes, Northland, Auckland Central, Counties Manukau, Waikato, Taranaki, Hawkes Bay, Wanganui, Wellington and Porirua. Groups such as Toi Te Ora – Public Health, Heart Foundation, School Support Services, Cancer Society, Te Pou Kokiri, Maori Health Services, Tuhoe Education Authority, Bay of Plenty District Health Board, Sport BOP and the Ministry of Education are involved in the project.

“It’s about encouraging children to eat more fruit and giving them a jump start to healthy eating,” says Eastern Bay Fruit in Schools coordinator Herewini Hape, from Toi Te Ora - Public Health. “The BIG CRUNCH is about celebrating this opportunity these schools are being given – it’s an awesome idea and health and community organisations throughout the Eastern Bay are really happy to be involved.”

Those involved in Thursday’s BIG CRUNCH will walk through the Whakatane town centre with banners, colourful outfits and people dressed as fruit to the Whakatane Information Centre for lunch at midday.

“The walk is not only a continuation of the celebration, but a way to raise community awareness around nutrition and physical activity,” says Herewini Hape.

Fruit is being provided and delivered by United Fresh twice a week. Classroom fruit monitors (identified by each school) will transfer enough fruit into fruit buckets for their classroom and deliver it to their class.

“One day pupils might get apples or bananas, and mandarins or pears the next,” she says. “It’s all prepared and ready to eat - a great way to expose kids to the wide range of fruit available and get their taste buds wanting more!”

Each school is holding individual events to celebrate Fruit in Schools. National FIS Project Coordinator Russell Holmes will be at Te Kura o Te Teko from 11am–midday. This will be the largest of the five events, coinciding with a festival throughout the day, focusing on nutrition and physical activity.

The Eastern Bay BIG CRUNCH programme
Thursday 4 May 2006

11:00am Meet at Whakatane District Council Building (Quad)
11:20 Councillor Linda Hudson to speak and start countdown to BIG CRUNCH
11:35 Walk through town begins
12:00 Lunch at Whakatane Information Centre

Fruit in Schools – background information

Around 27,000 children in 114 low decile schools throughout New Zealand are taking part in the FIS programme. It came about following the 2002 Child Nutrition Survey, which showed only about two out of five children met the recommended number of serves of fruit (at least two per day).

The project has two parts. The first focuses on encouraging and supporting schools in taking a Health Promoting Schools/ whole school community approach to supporting healthy eating, physical activity, smoke free and sun protection. The second is a targeted component for children attending high need primary schools to receive a free piece of fruit every day for up to three years. This time frame it intended to give schools enough time to set up systems to carry on the FIS programme independently.

Selected schools are expected to work towards becoming a Health Promoting School or to take a whole school approach to addressing the four areas of focus (above). Health Promoting Schools (HPS) emphasise the role school community’s play in promoting and supporting good physical, emotional and social wellbeing. The school can initiate a range of polices and activities such as improving school lunches, parenting skills classes, mental health programmes – in conjunction with community organisations.


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