Following the decision to remove sugar sweetened drinks from Leisure Centre vending machines, Healthy Families Manukau Manurewa-Papakura is supporting Auckland Council and the local boards of South Auckland to explore a number of healthy food and drink initiatives in the region.
The tender process for better beverage alternatives for the Council-managed centres has begun. A supplier will be confirmed in time for the scheduled October removal of the current drink options. Auckland Council is also looking to improve awareness around the cold, fresh and clean water facilities available in each leisure centre.
The process is part of a wider change, looking for healthy alternatives to food and beverage solutions to meet the needs of every individual leisure centre.
“We will ensure all products will align to the National Healthy Food and Drink Policy developed for District Health Boards,” says Peter Caccioppoli of Auckland Council.
The action has also provided an opportunity for council to look at their investment portfolio and align it with this approach.
Furthering the healthy beverage and food initiative, the Papakura Local Board have supported removing sugar sweetened beverages from all community facilities and Council-run events in their region.
The Local boards of Mangere-Otahuhu and Otara-Papatoetoe are currently reviewing and considering the options for their communities.
“Replacing the sale and supply of sugar sweetened beverages in all Council facilities and events will see positive flow on effects to all sectors of our community,” says Healthy Families Manukau, Manurewa-Papakura Manager Anna-Jane Jacob. “This move will impact Council early childhood centres, holiday programmes, after-school care and outdoor activation programmes, to name a few.
“It is about creating a culture of health promoting behaviour and supporting a health promoting environment.”
That health promoting environment will be further enhanced in South Auckland with a number of leisure centres trialling the Food Together initiative.
The produce collective improves convenience and access to wholesale fresh fruit and vegetables. Leisure centres will become pick up points for online orders of fresh produce made within their communities.