Kickstart breakfast awards kick off in Hastings

An outstanding group of five community volunteers has won the KickStart Breakfast “Unsung Hero” award for ensuring children at Takitimu school get a good start to their day.

Fonterra and Sanitarium, together with the Ministry for Social Development (MSD) kicked off their annual KickStart Breakfast awards at a ceremony celebrating the five volunteers in Hastings today.

The nation-wide programme serves over 125,000 breakfasts to Kiwi kids each week in 870 schools around New Zealand.

Principal Fleur Wainohu at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Wānanga o Whare Tapere o Takitimu nominated the group for the award saying the volunteers work like a ‘well-oiled machine’. She said their Breakfast Club often resembles a ‘Broadway production’ thanks to singing and laughter from the much loved volunteers.

“They don’t do it for the glory, the pay is non-existent, they have families and day jobs but come together rain, hail or shine to make sure breakfast happens,” said Ms Wainohu.

Fonterra Director Social Responsibility Carolyn Mortland congratulated the volunteers, commending them for their steadfast commitment.

The school’s breakfast programme is one of the largest Breakfast Clubs in New Zealand, serving nutritious Anchor milk and Sanitarium Weet-Bix to almost 100 of their children each day.

“Serving breakfasts day in and day out, especially to this many school kids is no small task,” she said.

“These volunteers are part of a major programme that is truly making a difference in the lives of our children. It’s giving our future generations the best start to the day, ensuring they have a healthy breakfast – which is fundamental to their learning,” said Ms Mortland.

Sanitarium Executive GM Pierre van Heerden says the school sets a prime example of how people can succeed in making a real difference in their communities.

“Together with Fonterra and MSD, we provide Anchor milk and Sanitarium Weet-Bix – but its people like these we’re honouring today who are the real heroes of the programme.

“The environment they create at this breakfast club is just what KickStart Breakfast is all about – these kids are getting a safe, positive environment to come together in before they start their school day,” said Mr van Heerden.

Since it began in 2009, the KickStart Breakfast programme has delivered 14 million breakfasts in schools all over New Zealand. Fonterra and Sanitarium partnered to establish the programme after seeing the need for healthy breakfasts in New Zealand schools. MSD joined to help bolster the programme in 2013, which now operates across all deciles.

Brynn Boyes, from Motueka High School will be recognised as Student Champion and Morrinsville School for Breakfast Club of the Year in ceremonies later this month.

Caption: Kickstart Breakfast partners Sanitarium, Fonterra and MSD with Unsung Hero award winners and children from Takitimu School.
Caption: KickStart's 2016 Unsung Heroes with children from Takitimu School - Te Kerehi Thompson, Whetu Marama Paenga, Waimaria Paenga, Kath Hawaikirangi, Martha Greening.