Applications for another round of grants from the Kai Ora are now open.

The Kai Ora, a partnership between the Far North District Council and Te Tai Tokerau PHO, was established to increase access to healthy food and to support sustainable community economic development.

This year it has been boosted by new funding from Te Puni Kokiri, Northland Inc and the Manaia Health PHO, and is inviting applications from throughout Northland.

Thirty projects have been funded over the last three years, and the additional support means projects in Whangarei and the Kaipara will now be eligible. Te Puni Kokiri's contribution has also allowed a Step Change Project Fund to be offered in the Far North, to a project that will significantly improve access to healthy food, promote economic development and be self-sustaining.

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"Step Change is big change for better," Far North District Council community policy and development manager Bill Lee said.

"This extra funding will give us the opportunity to focus on and fund a significant project that will empower an individual to lift an entire community."

The Kai Ora fund was a unique way to increase health and support economic development in the region, according Te Tai Tokerau PHO chief executive Jensen Webber.

"So much more can be achieved when we work together. Not only are we able to combine our skills and expertise and support more of our communities, we are more aware of each other's organisations and better informed on what is going on in our region," he said.

Daniela Johnson, who administers the Kai Ora Fund, said she was excited about its potential.

"We have a range of partners and organisations on board this year that will help increase the reach and strengthen the opportunities for further training and development and support for past projects and new projects this year," she said.

Information would soon be posted on the Te Tai Tokerau PHO website for community groups and organisations wishing to apply. A maximum of $5000 will be available.

Examples of previous projects are also available online, examples ranging from a group working throughout the North to set up a regional community seed bank to a marae working with taitamariki to plant fruit and nut trees to give future generations accessible kai.

Another successful applicant, Te Hiku Hauora, equipped a mobile food van to stage cooking demonstrations throughout the Far North, providing almost 400 samples of healthy food.

"We encourage all groups that are interested to apply or to get in touch and talk through their ideas," Ms Johnson said.

"We want the projects we fund to make a difference to people and communities in Tai Tokerau, and we are here to encourage and support those who wish to apply".

(Go to www.tttpho.co.nz) or call Daniela Johnson on (09) 438-1015 for more information.