Government minister and Labour List MP Jan Tinetti has been shown the impact of a programme ensuring hungry children in Tauranga get fed.
Tinetti visited Bay Venues Healthy School Kai kitchen to see what it takes to prepare and deliver just under 4000 school lunches each day, including 12 variations of dietary requirements.
Bay Venues is an approved supplier of the Ministry of Education Ka Ora, Ka Ako │ Healthy School Lunches programme which was launched in the Bay of Plenty in October 2020.
The programme, which targets Year 1 to 8 children within schools that have high levels of disadvantage, aims to reduce food insecurity by providing access to a nutritious lunch in schools every day.
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Tinetti was shown around the Healthy School Kai kitchen, located at Trustpower Baypark and said "It's a big ask" to meet the 250 special dietary meals the Healthy School Kai team make every day.
Tinetti is a former school principal and learned how the team worked with schools to provide nutritious food that the children will eat. Hot food lunch days and tasty, recognisable menus are being used to encourage the consumption of nutritious kai.
After becoming an approved supplier in Term 4 last year, Healthy School Kai now delivers just under 4000 healthy lunch boxes to 10 schools and kura each school day.
Bay Venues interim chief executive Adam Ellmers said: "This programme provides a great social enterprise opportunity for Tauranga."
"Not only are we feeding our hungry tamariki, but as Bay Venues is a Council Controlled Organisation, any profits will also benefit the community by helping to pay for the
cost of running our community facilities."