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Waikato DHB Improves Student Nutrition

Media information
For immediate release

Date: 6 May 2008

Waikato DHB Improves Student Nutrition

Six schools in Waikato District Health Board's region have received a financial helping hand for their planned project or initiative that will improve the nutrition of their students.

Hamilton East, Kakahi, Hamilton North, Thames South, Te Rerenga and Whenuakite schools received a combined total of more than $145,000.

The funding comes from the second round of the Nutrition Fund, part of the Ministry of Health's Healthy Eating Healthy Action (HEHA) strategy.

Waikato District Health Board (DHB) was responsible for distributing the fund locally.

"All schools and early childhood centres within the DHB area were invited by us to apply and it was evident in the successful applications that they knew what they wanted to achieve," HEHA district coordinator Sheryl Hanratty said.

"These projects are sustainable and identified how the students would benefit in the long-term.

"They've also shown how their project incorporated a whole school approach as well as involvement from the wider community," Ms Hanratty said.

Projects that received funding include:
* Creating a room for teaching and learning nutrition basics for students, teachers, parents and the wider community
* Establishing sustainable fruit and vegetable gardens
* Establishing kitchenettes to expand the cooking and nutrition programme
* Creating a school kitchen for practical food preparation to compliment nutrition education
* Providing a welcoming, comfortably and relaxing area for healthy eating
* Setting up a sustainable, easily manageable and user-friendly garden with a planting house, raised garden, worm farm, compost shed and shade cover.

Ms Hanratty said that an increased awareness of the fund for the second round meant more applications and more grants.

"The amount of funding has more than doubled from the first round and the quality of the applications had improved.

"These schools had thought very carefully about how they could improve their nutritional environment and made sure that was clear in their application."

Ms Hanratty credits this to improved awareness of the funding.

"We had more promotion in schools and helped them to understand the application process and the importance of the set criteria for approval of their project," she said.

She hopes the number of applications will increase for the third round, which is already underway.

All schools and early childhood centres are once again being encouraged to apply before the closing date of 30 May.

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


ENDS


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