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Funding for Healthier Schools

Media information
For immediate release

Date: 14 February 2008

Funding for Healthier Schools

Five Waikato schools have been given a financial boost to help create healthier eating environments for their students.

Tapu, Pukenui, Kopuarahi, Silverdale Normal and Pukete primary schools received a combined total of $65,925 for their projects.

All schools and early childhood centres were invited to apply for the funding by putting forward their project or initiative that focused on providing environments that support healthy eating and improving the nutrition of their students.

The funding is from the Nutrition Fund, part of the Ministry of Health's Healthy Eating Healthy Action (HEHA) strategy and aligns with the food and nutrition guidelines implemented by the Ministry of Education last year.

Waikato District Health Board HEHA project manager Janet Hanvey was responsible for distributing the fund locally.

"We had 12 schools and early childhood centres apply but the five successful applicants received extra merits for the sustainability of their project and for providing evidence of a whole-school approach in their planning.

"We wanted to see applications that were innovative, involved the students and parents and were focused on students leading the activities.

"Five schools stood out from the rest so I'm excited to be helping them create a healthier environment for their students," she said.

The projects/initiatives that received funding include:
* Creating a kumara plantation
* Building a space for teaching practical cooking and food preparation skills
* Installation of a seating area for juniors, drinking fountains and a vegetable garden
* Redevelopment of the school kitchen/hall so that it can be used as an education and teaching tool and as an on-site canteen providing healthy and nutritious food
* Extension of nutrition education and lunch system.

Ms Hanvey said the funding will make a genuine difference to the eating habits of the children involved in these projects.

"Getting the children involved in the project was an important factor in the decision making and these projects fulfilled that requirement."

A second round of funding is already underway in the Waikato and closes on 14 March.

"We hope to receive more applications for funding this time and I encourage all unsuccessful applicants from the last round to review their projects and re-apply."

The HEHA district coordinator is available to offer advice and provide support for applicants.

For more information about HEHA and the Nutrition Fund visit www.waikatodhb.govt.nz.

ENDS

www.waikatodhb.govt.nz

About Waikato District Health Board and Health Waikato:

Waikato DHB is responsible for planning, funding and providing quality health and disability support services for the 353,460 people living in the Waikato DHB region. It has an annual turnover of $915 million and employs more than 5300 people.

Health Waikato is the DHB's main provider of hospital and health services with an annual budget of $530 million and 4500 staff. It has seven divisions across five hospital sites, two maternity and continuing care hospitals and 21 community bases offering a comprehensive range of primary, secondary and tertiary health services.

Other Waikato DHB-funded health services - including primary health, pharmacies and community laboratories - are delivered by a wide range of independent providers.

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