Ranui Power Pack – a healthier snack pack for schools

It is known that primary school children eat approximately one-third of their daily food intake at school, but is it healthy food? Year 5 students at a West Auckland primary school think so, and came up with a healthy lunch idea to prove it. Students were asked what food, packaging, logo and branding they would like in a healthy snack pack and designed their very own ‘Ranui Power Pack’.

The Healthy Families Waitakere team initiated the project after mapping the availability of food in Ranui and running a series of focus groups and interviews with local people. It was found that there was a need for more affordable healthy food options for school lunches and based on this, the Healthy Families Waitakere team approached the primary school to trial the production and sale of a healthier snack pack.
Students chose a range of food items from the four food groups to be in their snack pack. Ingredients were sourced from local food outlets including chicken sandwiches, tuna sandwiches, sushi, fruit, yoghurt, carrots, and popcorn. Mini muffins were also provided by a local social enterprise business Café Korero in the Ranui Community Centre.

Production costs were worked out at $1.70 per snack pack with a sale price of $2.50. The price was based on existing snack packs being sold at nearby dairies. One Ranui dairy and one supermarket were in support of trialling the sale of the snack packs. However, in order to align with the Food Act 2014 guidelines the team had to think of an alternative method for selling. A pre-order system at the school was set up and 10% (46) of the school’s students placed orders for their Friday lunch. The ‘Ranui Power Packs’ were made in Café Korero and packaged up to be transported to the school.

As a follow up, the Healthy Families Waitakere team mapped out 25 primary schools in West Auckland with 5-10 minutes travel time between them. With an average of 345 students per school, if 10% of students in each school ordered the snack packs, nearly 500 students would be eating food choices for wellbeing every day.
Next steps are to find ways to reduce production costs using wholesale suppliers and find an organisation or group who would like to take over the production and sale of Ranui Power Packs as a potential social enterprise. The Healthy Families Waitakere team are also developing a toolkit with session plans, tools and resources for other schools nationally.

Article supplied by Caitlin MacColl, Healthy Families Waitakere, August 2017