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Programme to fight child obesity kick started at gala dinner


19 August, 2016

Largest NZ programme to fight child obesity kick started at 2016 Warehouse Group Gala Dinner

A new programme to fight child obesity in New Zealand was last night made possible with more than $765,000 in funding from The Warehouse Group’s Gala Dinner.

The Empower programme will be run by not-for-profit partners, Life Education Trust and Garden to Table, and will benefit 32,000 children in 170 NZ schools over a two year period.

Life Education Trust Chief Executive John O’Connell said through classroom and practical hands on learning the programme is designed to equip and empower children with the knowledge of a balanced diet, meal planning, key nutrients and how to grow and cook healthy food.

“Through Empower, we want children to understand where food comes from and the importance it plays in our health so they can take that knowledge back to their families and communities.

“Child obesity levels in New Zealand stand as the third highest in the OECD with one in three being obese or overweight.

“Gaining the support of The Warehouse Group and its suppliers and business partners, who each year make a significant contribution to community development, has ensured our innovative programme can go forward,” said Mr O’Connell.

Garden to Table Executive Officer Linda Taylor said the vision for the Empower programme is ‘Empowering children with knowledge to take action and create lifelong healthy habits’.

“Although the Empower programme has been scoped for an initial two years, it is hoped that, based on results achieved and further funding, it could continue into a third year and beyond with more than 250 schools completing the programme.

“The primary objective of the programme is to create a comprehensive and sustainable programme to reduce child obesity in New Zealand,” said Ms Taylor.

Last night’s event was The Warehouse Group’s 25th annual charity dinner and supplier awards.

Special guests at the black tie event included a number of MPs including Associate Health Minister and Minister for Pacific Peoples Hon Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga and the Chair of the Parliamentary Health Select Committee Simon O’Connor, as well as suppliers and business partners of The Warehouse Group and leaders in the community sector.

The Warehouse Group Chief Executive Nick Grayston said the recipients of this year’s Gala Dinner funds are about to provide a programme that has the potential to make a significant difference to New Zealand communities.

“We’re proud to be able to facilitate what is one of New Zealand’s most important charity events, but it is our suppliers and business partners that get behind it to raise money for what is always an important cause,” he said.

In addition to raising funds to support community development, the Gala Dinner presented the company’s Supplier Awards and acknowledged The Warehouse Group’s Community Hero for 2016, Kiri Swannell.

Additional information including videos and fact sheets can be found via dropbox here: For more information please contact: Tanya Henderson, The Warehouse Group, 021 718 953 Email: Jess Limbrick, Life Education Trust, 021 803 839.

Email: Linda Taylor, Garden to Table, 021 567 303 Email: About Empower The Empower programme is being development by Life Education Trust and Garden to Table.

Empower is a comprehensive and sustainable programme aiming to tackle NZ’s biggest epidemic threatening the country’s children – obesity.

This is a new collaboration between the two charities that will benefit 32,000 children and 170 schools over a two-year period.

Empower is the single largest programme in NZ schools to address child obesity.

$20 funds one child and $500 funds a class through the programme.

This collaboration enables the two parties work together toward one collective goal.

Empower will significantly strengthen both organisations’ ability to effect real change.

About Life Education Trust Life Education Trust, founded in 1988, is a specialist health resource for schools.

In 2015, the Trust taught a record 258,000 children from 1,450 schools.

It has 45 mobile learning centres and a team of specialist, registered teachers travelling to schools throughout NZ.

It teaches children from year 1-8.

About Garden to Table 3 Garden to Table is a charity focused on building life skills through practical hands-on, child-centric classes.

It teaches children how to grow and prepare food and encourages the eating of fresh food.

It has achieved success in engaging with schools, parents and communities to build awareness of individual and collective environment responsibility.

Garden to Table schools work with primary school children in a productive vegetable garden and home-style kitchen every week.

About The Warehouse Group’s commitment to communities: The Warehouse Group’s support for New Zealand communities is one of its key strategic commitments.

In more than 30 years of operation, through the generosity of its customers, suppliers and team members it has contributed more than $44 million to charities and community development throughout New Zealand.

The annual Warehouse Group Gala Dinner is the country’s largest charity fundraiser event.

The Group accounts for its performance with respect to community and the environment through its annual Community & Environment Report, which is available at

About The Warehouse Group: The Warehouse Group Limited comprises 92 The Warehouse stores, 79 Noel Leeming stores, 64 Warehouse Stationery stores and 10 Toropedo7 stores in New Zealand and several online retailers.

In FY15 the Group’s turnover was $2.77 million.

The company employs more than 12,000 people.


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