20m pieces of fruit & veg given to school kids

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman

Minister of Health

4 November 2015

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says close to 20 million pieces of fruit and vegetables will be handed out to Kiwi kids this school year.

“Healthy eating helps fuel the body and the brain, that’s why the Fruit in Schools programme is so beneficial to students,” says Dr Coleman.

This school year 480 decile one and two primary and intermediate schools covering over 97,000 students have been taking part in the programme.

The schools receive high quality seasonal fruit and vegetables, which means they sample up to 33 different types of fruit or vegetable during the year.

An external evaluation of the programme undertaken on behalf of 5+ A Day Charitable Trust indicated that the programme is producing results.

“The study found that the programme is having benefits for both the health and wellbeing of students,” says Dr Coleman.

“Schools reported improved dental outcomes, an increase in overall healthy eating behaviours and a reduction in general sores. The evaluation also indicated that there was an increase in student concentration.

“As well as receiving the fresh fruit or vegetables, the schools taking part in the programme also receive support and advice on healthy living.”

The Government invests just over $6.6 million a year in the Fruit in Schools programme, which is supported by the extra $400 million being invested into the health sector this year.

This programme is in addition to the recently launched Childhood Obesity Plan. New Zealand is one of the first OECD countries to have a target and a comprehensive plan to tackle childhood obesity.

Media contact: Angela Kenealy 021 220 0129



Last updated: Thursday, October 15, 2015

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