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Soup for South Auckland Kids

(PR.co.nz) ‘What’s the soup of the day?’ is the question being asked at five South Auckland Primary Schools who are part of the Winter Warming Soup Project run by Feed the Need Charitable Trust.

The project provides all children at these schools with freshly made soup and bread for lunch over eight days during term 3, totaling almost 10,000 lunches. It’s Feed the Need’s first step in finding a way to provide all children in a school with warming, nutritious lunch during the colder months.

‘Feeding whole schools is no small feat’, explains Kerry Owen, Founder and Director of Feed the Need. ‘It’s not been done large-scale in New Zealand and our schools are ill equipped to feed the masses. We need to find innovative ways around this’, she says.

Feed the Need is on a mission to ‘feed the masses’. Their initial focus is on refining a cost-effective and streamlined food provision system to get hot, healthy meals to children in high-need schools over winter.

‘Providing food in schools means our kids would have direct access to good food’, says Kerry Owen. ‘It really is a small price to pay for healthier, more contented and better educated young New Zealanders’.

Feedback from participating schools has been positive. Tone Kolose, Principal of Manurewa South School reports, ‘Our children are loving the soup and rolls. We have quite a number of children who turn up to school with little or no lunch, many are from families where money and food is sometimes scarce. I think it’s a wonderful opportunity that has the potential to positively impact student behavior and learning.’

Manurewa East School is also part of the soup project and its Principal, Phil Palfrey, has been a longtime advocate of addressing the issue of hungry school children. ‘I believe emphatically that children in low decile schools be provided with nutritious food to ensure that they can concentrate and perform at the level their higher decile counterparts can’, he says. ‘As I have stated to many people who don’t understand children being hungry, until you go one day without food, you can not understand what it is like for a child to try and learn to their full potential’.

Feed the Need has done all they can this year with the funding and donations received from KidsCan, TelstraClear (now Vodafone NZ), Amplifon NZ and The Lunch Club, as well as many suppliers who have provided generous discounts. But for this programme to take flight it will require significant resourcing from the government, business and community sectors.

‘Securing sustainable funding is a priority for us’, explains Feed the Need founder, Kerry Owen. ‘It needs to be if we are to reach our ambitious 5-year goal of servicing all decile 1 to 4 primary schools in South Auckland’.

Media Release 3 September 2013.

 



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