Ka Pai Kai Rotorua was officially launched in 2017 with the support of Healthy Families Rotorua as a way to address food insecurity among Rotorua school children. Healthy Families Rotorua undertook a small investigation to see how the Rotorua community is benefiting from this initiative.
A survey was completed with a number of stakeholder groups that have been involved in Ka Pai Kai Rotorua from; volunteers, hospitality students as well as representatives from schools.
Principal of Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Hurungaterangi Oriana Lemon commented that Ka Pai Kai Rotorua has helped to normalise healthier eating. “Tamariki have enjoyed the healthier option, even the vegetables and we have noticed that nothing is going to waste” she says.
Volunteers are commonly made up of mothers and grandmothers who give their time as they want to see their tamariki eating nutritious kai and learning good habits.
Ka Pai Kai Rotorua also provide an opportunity to hospitality students from NZMA to get hands on experience in a kitchen and complete practical elements of their course that goes towards the accreditation for their qualifications.
“We get the opportunity of gaining practical experience, while also contributing to a meaningful kaupapa that helps children, some of which are our whanau” says Grace Walker, a hospitality student.
Ka Pai Kai Rotorua currently service 7 schools in Rotorua with a vision to provide nourishing kai for young minds.