Food for Life is the brainchild of local Hare Krishna devotees, Buddhi and Suvarna, who both work running the organisation. However, it is very much a community project. Help, support and donations from local businesses, growers, organisations and the community make it possible to do what we do. Not to mention the many volunteers who help prepare and deliver meals, and those who work behind the scenes.
In December 2011, Food for Life Northland opened our doors and started out serving over 50 meals a day, three days a week in our Community Café to all those who walked through the door. Not long after we started serving hot lunches at a local decile one school (poorest area).
The health of our children is a serious issue that as a nation we are slowly coming to terms with. The statistics in Northland around poverty, child health and education make grim reading. We decided enough is enough and as a community we can make a difference for our kids.
In 2012 we started serving delicious, nutritious hot lunches once a week to approximately 350 children in two ‘decile one’ schools in Whangarei. In 2014 we expanded the programme to work with five schools providing lunches to approximately 1000 children every week. We currently have several schools waiting to join the programme but limited resources mean we currently can’t expand the programme further.
Each meal costs approximately $2 per child to prepare and deliver. The schools are asked to contribute $1 per meal, per student. Food for Life Northland subsidises the remainder through our own fundraising efforts and donations.
Many children in Northland go to school without breakfast or an adequate lunch. This can affect their ability to learn, they have little energy, find it difficult to concentrate and become easily distracted and irritated. There can be lifelong consequences for these kids, not only academically, it can also affect social and personal development, not to mention health. Poor nutrition and food, poverty are linked to health problems and chronic illness. These all have a flow-on affect to our wider community.
The health of our children is a serious issue that as a nation we are slowly coming to terms with. Studies show that obesity and lack of oral health are higher in families who are struggling to provide fully balanced meals to their children (A. Mancini & S, Carne: Empty Food Baskets). The statistics in Northland around poverty, child health and education make grim reading. We decided that as as a community we can make a difference for our kids.
Our ‘lunch in schools’ programme has been created to provide Whangarei kids with a healthy balanced meal to support their learning, health, social skills and well-being. Our vision is for every Northland child who needs it to have access to lunch.
Our lunches are freshly cooked, hot, nutritiously balanced and very tasty. A typical meal ma be a pasta or rice dish, packed with veges and a dessert such as rice pudding, cake or fruit crumble.
We try to ensure meals are tasty, attractive and introduce new tastes and foods to the kids.
By promoting healthy eating at a low cost, we can help the health of our children. This in turn lowers health costs. By supporting and teaching people how to prepare and create balanced meals on a tight budget we can ensure that families are able to enjoy a healthy and nutritious diet.
We’re working not just to feed our children, but to raise awareness of the important of healthy home cooked meals. While we’ve begun in schools, we intend to reach parents and the wider community to educate and empower them to be able to create delicious, nutritious, healthy home-cooked meals at home at a low cost.
Your donations Is Our Lifeblood
We provide lunches for decile 1 school children providing them with necessary nutrition and support for growing minds and bodies. We rely on the generous donations of food, money, time, and skills to do this.
Lunches cost just $2 each per child and schools are asked to pay $1 towards this. This leaves $1 that we have to come up with to cover the costs.
Imagine spending just $1 and having a child get a nutritious meal right here to NZ!
You are able to donate either one-off or as a recurring amount.
If you have questions please get in touch.
Buddhi on 022 1218908
Visit us at 26 Water Street, Whangarei
Post us something at PO Box 1045, Whangarei