The University of Canterbury Students’ Association (UCSA) will help fuel a younger generation of students’ learning as part of its new contract to provide school lunches in Christchurch.
The Association has won a contract with the Government’s Ka Ora, Ka Ako | Healthy School Lunches programme, which provides nutritious lunches every school day to primary and secondary school pupils from participating schools. The programme is being rolled out nationally to address food insecurity among kiwi youth – something intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Ministry of Education, around one in five children in New Zealand live in households that struggle to put enough good-quality food on the table. Ka Ora, Ka Ako is targeted at schools and kura where students are facing the 25% highest level of disadvantage and socio-economic barriers that could affect access to education, achievement and wellbeing.
Under the programme, the Association will produce and distribute around 3,000 lunches a day across 10 schools from the Christchurch city district.
2020 UCSA President Tori McNoe said they were proud to be a part of the project. “It’s a really unique circular economy that allows various wins and opportunities for current and future generations of students to benefit from the scheme. It also allows us to build our connections with the school community.”
And it isn’t just primary and high-school students that will benefit. The UCSA will be putting the funds it receives from the contract back into its charitable work supporting University of Canterbury students. All proceeds from their commercial operations are used to deliver a range of services that include advocacy and welfare, early learning centres, and club support.
The UCSA will begin delivering school lunches across the district in February 2021.
For further information on Ka Ora Ka Ako | Healthy School Lunches programme
Ka Ora, Ka Ako | healthy school lunches programme – Education in New Zealand
Major expansion of school lunch programme | Beehive.govt.nz