Eat Right, Be Bright is an organisation, born from the efforts of a group of women who shared a common concern for the future of our children. The group grew quickly as word spread as many across Aotearoa saw the same concerns in their own communities. They saw that poverty leads to lack of nutrition and that lack of nutrition directly detracts from childrens’ learning, diminishes childrens’ health and ultimately, limits childrens’ ability to flourish and succeed. The dire social consequences for some children are all too clear in Aotearoa today. The facts are clear, one in four children in New Zealand live in poverty, one in three children are overweight or obese, and one in three children admitted to Starship Hospital are malnourished. Eat Right Be Bright saw that children who receive a nutritious lunch at school each day would gain clear social, educational and health benefits.
From this foundational insight came the development of a group with shared views about child poverty in New Zealand, and the desire to make change to ensure a healthy and happy next generation ready to realise their full potential. Through extensive research and by approaching experts in child education and health, our group has received immense assistance from far and wide – all sharing an understanding of the great benefits of the provision of a healthy lunch for all kids at school. This can only happen if we all play our part: parents, experts, volunteers, legislators, and ultimately central funding from taxpayers. Eat Right Be Bright wishes to encourage discussion, inform debate, support the development of policy and ultimately realise funding. Almost 90% of countries globally offer this support to their children; Aotearoa’s children deserve the right to learn and achieve, and they will do that best with full and happy tummies.