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Hungry For A Healthy Future

With many whānau feeling the pinch this winter, ProCare is pleased to see that the Government has announced an additional $323.4 million to provide the 25% of ākonga/students (~220,000 children) experiencing the greatest socioeconomic barriers to education with access to a nutritious lunch on every school day.

Bindi Norwell, ProCare Group CEO, says “providing nutritious lunches to tamariki through this initiative takes a proactive approach to improving overall health and well-being. By ensuring that students have access to balanced and nourishing meals, we can positively impact their physical health, mental wellbeing, and cognitive development. This preventive measure is crucial in reducing the burden on our health system in the long run.”

Mihi Blair, Kaiwhakahaere Hauora Māori, Mana Taurite (GM of Māori Health and Equity) at ProCare says, “Today’s cost of living has many whānau struggling to provide the recommended three meals a day, so there are many positive flow on effects of having a nutritious kai at lunchtime. We want our tamariki to be at school with a full belly and ready to learn, not missing out because they are too hungry to concentrate.”

Having a nutritious school lunch isn’t only beneficial for students learning potential at school, but also their health overall. With healthy food comes better moods and behaviour, better dietary habits, and education on different healthy foods and cultures.

These sentiments are echoed by researchers at the University of Auckland* and Health Coalition Aotearoa**, who are also calling for an extension on the eligibility for the free school lunch programme and for longer term funding.

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By investing in the health and wellbeing of our young population today, we can create a healthier and more resilient generation, ultimately alleviating the strain on our healthcare system in the future. ProCare has proudly signed the Health Coalition Aotearoa Ka Ora Ka Ako Healthy School Lunches Petition. To find out more and sign the petition to get healthy lunches in schools for more of our tamariki in Aotearoa, head here

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