August 20, 2019

Healthy Families NZ’s approach to food innovation

Across Aotearoa, Healthy Families New Zealand are supporting communities to increase access, affordability and availability of healthy kai. Put simply, making the healthy choice, the easy choice. With each location responding to the unique needs and strengths of its communities, a range of initiatives are underway to provide and promote the healthy choice.

The Food Hub – Healthy Families South Auckland

The Papatoetoe Food Hub is helping to tackle food insecurity, influence behaviour and policy change as well as provide good kai to communities currently saturated with unhealthy food options.

Located on a former netball court, the hub is run by a collective of community organisations and supported by Healthy Families South Auckland and Panuku Development. The site includes a café and kitchen used for initiatives from school holiday programmes to adult/children cooking classes.

Healthy Families South Auckland manager George Makapatama says reimagining how food can be served and shared in a way that also enables healthy lifestyles and community connections is at the heart of the Papatoetoe Food Hub.

“This multi-use prototyping space run by community-led enterprises has the primary purpose of making good food accessible, desirable and affordable to the local community; while also creating a hub where people can connect, learn and share new concepts related to the food.”

School Eats – Healthy Families Waitākere

This year, a new social enterprise, School Eats, is delivering healthy, convenient and affordable lunch packs to West Auckland students. Developed in collaboration with Healthy Families Waitākere, Lincoln Heights School and Our City Church, School Eats provides nutritious lunches to school students, priced at only $5 each.

“School Eats was created to provide healthier, affordable lunches to schools in West Auckland, with a price-point to match that of readily available unhealthy options which surround schools.” Says Healthy Families Waitākere Manager, Kerry Allan.

The social enterprise is currently in the prototype phase, operating in a number of schools in West Auckland for the school year.

The Healthier Choice, Healthy Families Invercargill

Healthy Families Invercargill team has been working with local food providers to make it easier for customers to make healthier decisions.

Healthier Choice – Healthy Families Invercargill

The Healthier Choice initiative makes it easier for the customer to make healthier food choices, especially when they are in a hurry. The Healthy Families Invercargill team worked alongside food providers to understand what’s important to them. Food providers know their own food the best, so we’ve left it up to them to choose which menu options they want to highlight.

Clear and attractive branding in cafés, dairies and schools around Invercargill and on social media has been used to make it simple for customers to make a healthier choice and food providers have felt encouraged to promote and add to the healthier options on their menus.

The University of Auckland is now supporting a local pilot of Healthier Choice with the Healthy Families teams in Auckland.