KickStart Breakfast, now in its fifth year, currently provides breakfasts of Anchor Milk and Weet-Bix twice a week to children in more than 570 decile one to four schools around New Zealand. This amounts to 48,000 breakfasts every week, with almost 5 million breakfasts served to date.
With the Government’s support of up to $1.9 million per year, the programme will be extended to five days a week, with a view to gradually rolling it out to all schools that want and need the programme.
Pierre van Heerden, General Manager of Sanitarium, said: “KickStart Breakfast is strongly supported by schools and local communities. Along with our partner Fonterra, we provide breakfasts twice a week, but increasingly, schools are telling us that they’d like to offer the programme every school day due to the needs of their students.
“Our partnership with the Government to join us in funding an extended programme will, I’m sure, be welcomed by all involved.”
Carly Robinson, Fonterra Group General Manager Global Co-operative Responsibility, said feedback from schools is that the nutrition provided to students through KickStart Breakfast has positive impacts in the classroom and children would benefit greatly from a five-day-a-week programme.
“KickStart Breakfast is a programme aimed at providing nourishment to children that need it most. It’s helping to give kids a boost to both their school day and their future by ensuring they have a healthy start and a full stomach to keep them alert in the classroom,” said Ms Robinson.
KickStart Breakfast is run as a community partnership, meaning Fonterra and Sanitarium provide the product, while the local school and community manage the breakfast itself.
“This partnership approach allows schools to run the clubs in their own way. In fact, almost half the clubs are run by people from the schools’ local communities.
“It’s important to acknowledge the support of these amazing volunteers, teachers and local community groups, who are actively running their breakfast clubs. Without these people, the programme wouldn’t be possible,” Ms Robinson said.
Fonterra and Sanitarium said the KickStart Breakfast programme aligns well with their philosophies and values, with both organisations already involved in several initiatives aimed at helping Kiwi kids reach their potential.
“Fonterra is committed to caring for the communities in which we live and work. In particular, we want our kids to grow up strong and healthy, which is why we have supported this programme for more than four years,.” said Ms Robinson.
On Sanitarium’s involvement, Mr van Heerden said: “Sanitarium genuinely cares for the health, hope and happiness of every person. KickStart is not only about breakfast, it also provides a space for children to develop social and life skills in a “club” environment. Through KickStart Breakfast and our other programmes, we’re able to make a real and lasting difference in our communities.”