Kai For Kids launched at lunch

On stage and having fun with the TaroBoyz are Netherby School pupils (from left) Alexciah Skoczek, Isobella McCully, Anya Walker and Elijah Laird. Below, reading a blessing ahead of a shared lunch at the launch are Chertsey School pupils (from left) Eddie Green, Harper Bright, Summer Tilson and Lacie Davis.

School lunch project Kai For Kids has been officially launched and celebrated at a gathering at Netherby School.

Netherby was the pilot school for the project last year and Hampstead and Chertsey schools have come on board this term.

Speaking at the launch, Netherby School principal Phil Wheeler said he was very happy with his school’s involvement in the optional lunch service.

He had been impressed with the early enthusiasm of Fiona Ward from the Kai For Kids Charitable Trust and her determination and ability to to overcome funding and logistical barriers, and also with the leadership of her fellow trustee Jo Taylor.

He said free, healthy nutritional lunches at his school were appreciated and the service did not impact the workload of his staff.

Guests at the Kai For Kids launch included Ashburton mayor Neil Brown, representatives from pilot project funders Advance Ashburton, pupils and staff from Chertsey School, other project supporters and Pacific Zumba group the TaroBoyz.

The TaroBoyz are a high energy dance group from the North Island and favourites with Netherby pupils, who, since lockdown have used the group’s online dance videos for school fitness and workouts.

The TaroBoyz surprised pupils with an appearance at a Pacific-themed disco the evening before the official lunch launch.

The group also showed off their moves during fitness class visits to Ashburton Intermediate and Hampstead schools.

Kai For Kids is looking to expand its composting focus and has worm farms planned for Netherby in the future. Cooking lessons are also planned.

The project, which has government funding, now employs six people and is supported by a number of volunteers.

-By Mick Jensen