Te Puke Primary School is one of 46 across the Bay of Plenty receiving fresh fruit and vegetables daily.
The produce is provided under the Government funded Fruit and Vegetables In Schools (FIS) initiative managed by United Fresh and supported by the 5+ A Day Charitable Trust.
Te Puke Primary School is one of those schools and principal Andrea Dance describes it as a ''fantastic initiatives''.
''Our tamariki benefit immensely by having fresh fruit and vegetables available to them daily,'' she says. ''We utilise them for breakfast and a snack that's readily available as and when needed throughout the day. There are bowls of fruit that are readily available for them just to grab.''
Teachers are also using the fruit and vegetables for baking.
''They do that quite frequently and the children are able to come up with recipes that they would like to try with the fruit, so it's allowing those opportunities as well.
''I will often get invited to try the new apple crumble, the new banana bread or the new banana smoothies.''
Andrea says the quality of the fruit is amazing, and the initiative sits well alongside the free healthy school lunches provided through the Lunches in Schools programme.
''As principal I know each one of my tamariki are getting the extra nutrition that they need here on a school day. And [the fruit] goes. The kids absolutely love it and it's just become part of our culture that it's available to them.
''I often go [to classrooms] and they are doing their maths or their writing and there's cut up oranges in front of them, there are bananas available to them or someone's munching on an apple, so they are grabbing more than five plus a day.''
The initiative has performed a key role in supporting the health and wellbeing of tamariki for over 16 years.
In 2021, which is the UN's International Year of Fruits and Vegetables (IYFV), the initiative will deliver over 27 million servings of fresh fruit and vegetables to schools nationwide.
Children in these classrooms are provided with one piece of fresh seasonal produce to eat with their classmates daily, providing essential nutritional goodness as well as the opportunity to try over two dozen varieties of fruit and vegetables during the school year.
The global focus is on the availability of fresh, nutritious produce to our most vulnerable communities is an opportunity to address issues of inequality on a local level.
The FIS initiative encapsulates the focus of the IYFV, working towards the goals of ending hunger, reducing inequality and improving health, wellbeing and education.
United Fresh president Jerry Prendergast says FIS supports tamariki struggling with food insecurity in our most vulnerable communities.
"The IYFV highlights the need for nations to address issues of access to fresh, nutritious food for all their citizens. United Fresh and growers around the country strongly believe that working together on initiatives such as FIS is critical to solve the food insecurity facing so many around the country."
Jerry says health has never been more important.
"The fresh fruit and vegetables that tamariki receive through FIS provide an important natural immunity boost for them at this critical time.
"Since the outbreak of Covid-19, the popularity of fresh produce has increased dramatically as families look to improve their health and wellbeing. The FIS initiative ensures that children in most need don't miss out on the advantages that the rest of us enjoy," he says.
Originally developed in 2004, FIS deliveries are organised at no cost to schools or local communities, and the 5+ A Day Charitable Trust provides free curriculum-linked resources to help promote healthy eating and teach students how to grow their own produce.