Berrysmith Foundation

Mother Earth Gives Back


Local health food producer, Mother Earth is literally putting their money where their mouth is to reward New Zealand’s most environmentally friendly schools. In the second year of the Mother Earth Reward Programme Competition, the Hamilton-based company will give away three $2,500 cash prizes to schools that are actively creating healthy and sustainable communities through the Enviroschools initiative.

This year the public has a hand in which school receives top honours and a $500 cash prize with a new People’s Choice category.

“The new award was added to provide parents, students and their communities the opportunity to engage with our competition,” Caroline Potter of Mother Earth, who created the reward programme in partnership with The Enviroschools Foundation, says. 

Any school that is a part of the Enviroschools initiative, which helps pupils work towards environmental sustainability and the promotion of healthy eating, is able to enter. And with an impressive 847 schools and early childhood education centres already involved with the programme, there is no lack of interest.

The ways the 2011 winners utilised their prize money shows the wide-reaching positive effect the scheme has, says founder of The Enviroschools Foundation and Mother Earth Reward partner, Heidi Mardon.

‘It’s great to see how each school has utilised their reward to further develop their healthy food programmes,’ Heidi says.

Previous winners, Hasting’s Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o te wananga whare tapere o Tikitmu School, distributed seeds to local families and hired an organic gardening specialist. Whereas the students at Mt Albert’s Owairaka Primary school love their new lunchboxes and enjoy their ‘Make and Take’ idea where they make food from their on-site garden. And putting those new found skills to use, Pukekohe’s Patumahoe School will soon be enjoying their new child-friendly kitchen.

Judging the competition will be returning adjudicator Niki Bezzant, editor of The Healthy Food Guide, who is passionate about the programme.

‘This project proves that even small changes can have big results,’ Niki says.

With schools getting increasingly creative with their approach, Caroline Potter from Mother Earth says this award will further encourage students and communities to engage with the programme.
“After last year’s impressive number and high standard of entries we are looking forward to seeing what this year’s programme turns up and who ends up as the people’s choice.”

Entries close September 14 and the winning schools, including the People’s Choice winner, will be named on October 24.  

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