Monday October 23, 2017   Last updated 04:39AM
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Tokoroa shows way for kapai kai

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Tokoroa is fighting back against unhealthy school lunches.

Researcher Zaynel Sushil outlined the Kapai Kai initiative to this week’s Public Health Association Conference in Christchurch as an example other communities could pick up.

It started when a local principal became alarmed at parents delivering fast food to children at lunchtime and worked with a chef to create a community kitchen.

The kitchen now provides cheap and healthy meals to nine primary schools, three kohanga, an early childhood centre, and to the businesses that subsidise the initiative.

Mr Sushil, who has researched the link between economic deprivation and the density of fast food outlets, says it’s a work in progress to create a healthy food ecosystem.

"Other ways this team is working is doing policy submissions because structurally we want to create systemic change, we want to move to a more values-based food system and that is only going to happen if local government as well as local businesses support the notion of healthy eating in the community and put healthy food as a priority for the community," he says.

FULL INTERVIEW ZAYNEL SUSHIL

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