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Four schools in Auckland and Christchurch, New Zealand, will be the lucky recipients of weekly fresh fruit thanks to a local initiative.
All Good Bananas is a New Zealand-based Fairtrade importer of bananas, which in March set up a donation section on their Facebook page, encouraging their customers to pledge bunches of bananas.
“Children going hungry is not just a developing world problem,” says All Good Director Simon Coley, “Thousands of Kiwi kids go to school without having had a proper breakfast.”
With this in mind, All Good teamed up with New Zealand-based charity KidsCan Trust, which specifically targets children in low socioeconomic areas, providing food, clothing and shoes to children whose families cannot afford it.
As a part of the food donations KidsCan will now be able to provide 25,000 bananas to Kia Aroha College and St Joseph’s School in Auckland, and North New Brighton and New Brighton Catholic schools in Christchurch- enough for the entire year.
Many children in low socioeconomic areas come to school without breakfast, which affects their learning and concentration for the entire day, which can impact on their ability to access further education.
Many schools, including North New Brighton School, have taken the initiative with the help of KidsCan to set up ‘breakfast clubs’ which provide students with a substantial breakfast to give them a nutritious start to the day.
North New Brighton School Principal Brian Walkinshaw is very appreciative and says students will be too.
“The bananas are a perfect addition, great energy food and a good nourishing snack, packed full of carbohydrates. The fact that they’re Fairtrade adds that double feel good factor.”
KidsCan is always looking for donations, but not only in funds. Currently, KidsCan is appealing to New Zealand knitters so that they can give children beanies to keep their heads warm during the winter.
In 2011 KidsCan gave away 8500 beanies, and in 2012 hopes to reach 10,000 to distribute around the 218 schools in the program.
Beanie donations finish around the end of June, but don’t worry if knitting isn’t really your forte, there are plenty of ways you can help children in poverty in New Zealand.
Go to the KidsCan website www.kidscan.org.nz for some fundraising ideas. They have details of nationwide initiatives, as well as examples of fundraising that schools and businesses have done.