New Zealand dairy co-operative Fonterra and food manufacturer Sanitarium have partnered in the Grow KickStart Breakfast program to support schools in New Zealand.
Fonterra is also working with the Ministry of Social Development to help more than 1000 schools.
The expanded involvement follows a move by the New Zealand business to end its Milk for Schools program for primary school-aged children, reallocating resources to expanding the KickStart program. The company says this will offer more channels to help support children in “all schools, of all ages and deciles” in the country.
“We’ve taken a good look at what the country is facing into, particularly in the context of Covid-19, and asked if our current way of doing things is supporting the people who need it most. We can see there’s a need for us to expand our thinking and take a more holistic approach that reaches more people – which is why we’re making these changes,” said CEO Miles Hurrell.
Fonterra further partnered with the New Zealand Food Network to provide dairy products to local charities, food banks and community partners. At the start of the lockdown, the company donated 1 million serves of milk for schools via its partners.
“NZFN is delighted to partner with Fonterra to deliver much-needed goodness into the communities of Aotearoa New Zealand. This complements our own desire of ‘getting food to where it’s needed most’. Working together, we will strive to ensure everyone has access to healthy, nutritious food,” said NZ Food Network CEO Gavin Findlay.
Hurrell said ending the Fonterra Milk for Schools program will allow the company to focus on a more efficient and sustainable way to bring milk to more kids.
“Our school community makes high use of the KickStart Breakfast program and for us it is a time for whanau, staff and children to connect and start the day in a positive state,” said Papatoetoe North School principal Stan Tiatia. “The program helps to build community and in times affected by anxiety and isolation the KickStart breakfast time provides an opportunity for connection and care. We are grateful for the work by the KickStart team and know that our community is strengthened by their efforts
Fonterra will discuss with current schools involved in the Fonterra Milk for Schools program if they are also interested to join KickStart Breakfast for the 2021 school year.
“These changes reflect our co-operative heart – good things happen when people come together,” concluded Hurrell.