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Fresh fruit and veg still popular at the right price
A healthy food initiative that originated in the northern King Country resulted in thousands of families eating more fresh fruit and vegetables and brought extra money into local businesses.
Waikato District Health Board health promoter Betty Holden implemented Kai @ the Right Price in Otorohanga last year.
Fresh produce retailers sell assorted packs of fruit and vegetables at a reasonable cost with people able to order the packs in advance.
Ms Holden, who works for Waikato DHB's Population Health, took her Kai @ the Right Price idea south to Te Kuiti. It was so successful the initiative now operates in Kihikihi, Huntly, Taumarunui and Putaruru, and more recently in Tokoroa.
"Our data analysis showed the biggest barrier to families accessing fresh fruit and vegetables was a perceived high cost," said Ms Holden.
"At the same time, we were approaching a recession in New Zealand so we thought that by supporting local businesses to provide affordable fruit and vegetable packs a couple of days a week, we could help the public get good nutrition and local businesses to keep sales up."
As a result, more than 42,000 of these packs sold within the Waikato DHB region since last year.
In most places, the packs range in price from $10-20; however, in Taumarunui, the packs are smaller, and sell for just $3 each.
"Every health promoter that has taken Kai @ the Right Price on board for its community, has made it their own and made it work for their community," said Population Health group manager Barbara Garbutt.
"I'm proud of the work going on out in our community bases with our health promotion team. If they weren't already members of the community, they quickly become so and learn what the public need to live healthy lives, working with other community organisations to make that happen."
Mrs Garbutt said Kai @ the Right Price was an example of the work happening in Waikato DHB's rural communities on a daily basis.
Population Health has health promoters working in Thames-Coromandel, Hamilton, north King Country, North Waikato, South Waikato and Ruapehu communities.
ENDSDate: 9 December 2009