Fruit Box Program fuelling children’s minds

The School Fruit Box program aims to provide weekly boxes of fresh fruit sourced from local suppliers, including Yamanto Harvest Markets and Brassall Fresh Fruit Market, to Ipswich state primary schools. By offering a wide variety of fruits, the program enhances the nutritional choices available to students, ensuring they have access to wholesome snacks that fuel their minds and bodies.

What started as a modest endeavour has grown steadily over the past year, now reaching 13 Ipswich state schools, and benefiting approximately 200 children each school day. But the positive impact of this program goes beyond simply providing a healthy snack. Teachers have expressed their gratitude and observed firsthand the transformative influence of the School Fruit Box program on their students’ learning, engagement and overall wellbeing.

“Through the School Fruit Box program, we are not only nourishing the bodies of our young learners but also nurturing their minds,” says Rotary Club of Ipswich City member Peter McMahon.

“We firmly believe that when students have access to nutritious food, they perform better academically, have improved focus, and develop healthy eating habits that will benefit them throughout their lives.” Churchill State School is one grateful recipient of the weekly deliveries.

“Once the fruit arrives at our school, we distribute it through various channels to ensure every student who needs it has access to it. The fruit is available at our Breakfast Club, our Student Services Room, and with a staff member on eating duty, where students are sent if they are not provided with any or enough food from home,” explained a school representative.

Ipswich Central State School Principal Roger Sheehan said that for several of his students this would be the only fruit they would have during the week.

“Some of our students who have limited lunch come and select some fruit for snack breaks and to take home for afternoon tea. They will come privately during the day as to maintain their privacy,” Roger explained.

“We have our school leaders (Year 6 students) volunteer to walk around the before school waiting areas and offer a piece of fruit. The access without question to healthy food options has decreased some of our students’ anxiety in letting staff know when they do not have lunch.”

The Rotary Club of Ipswich City said the program would not be possible without the support of local suppliers, Yamanto Harvest Markets and Brassall Fresh Fruit Market and their commitment to sourcing high-quality fruits for the program.

“Their dedication has been vital in ensuring the School Fruit Box program delivers the best possible experience for the students,” said Peter.

“As we continue to witness the positive outcomes of this initiative, the club remains steadfast in its commitment to empowering the local community and investing in the future of Ipswich’s youth. The School Fruit Box program stands as a testament to our belief in the transformative power of collective action and community engagement.”

PICTURED: Rotary Club of Ipswich City Youth Committee member Peter McMahon, right, with Rob Sayle from Yamanto Harvest Markets, a key supporter of the club’s School Fruit Box program.

For more information about the School Fruit Box program and the Rotary Club of Ipswich City, please contact Peter McMahon 0409 897 188