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 Source: Cancer Society

Wellington, 11 May 2023 – The Cancer Society has joined dozens of other health and community organisations by signing a new Health Coalition Aotearoa (HCA) petitionto double the number of schools eligible for Ka Ora, Ka Ako healthy school lunches programme.  

Currently only 25% of schools can opt-in to the programme, with many children in need missing out.

Everybody deserves the right to a healthy, affordable diet – especially growing children who need healthy kai to nourish their bodies and brains.

A healthy diet and weight reduces the risk of 13 different types of cancer in adults (1).  

But it’s hard to eat well in Aotearoa, especially for people living in low-income areas. Solving food insecurity requires strong government leadership and coordination through the development of a much- needed national food and nutrition strategy.

In the meantime, expanding Ka Ora, Ka Ako is something the Government can do right now to help ease the cost-of-living pressure on whānau.    

Lucy Elwood, spokesperson for Cancer Society of New Zealand says “Making at least 50% of all schools eligible for Ka Ora, Ka Ako is an easy win to ensure more children get at least one healthy meal every school day. Cancer Society encourages others to join us and sign the HCA petition today.”  

Link to podcast:  


1.      Lauby-Secretan B, Scoccianti C, Loomis D, Grosse Y, Bianchini F, Straif K; International Agency for Research on Cancer Handbook Working Group. Body Fatness and Cancer–Viewpoint of the IARC Working Group. N Engl J Med. 2016 Aug 25;375(8):794-8. doi: 10.1056/NEJMsr1606602. 

Background information
The Cancer Society is a major funder of life-saving and world-class cancer research. In the past 10 years, the Cancer Society has invested more than 52 million dollars in research around the country that has improved the prevention, detection, and treatment of different types of cancer, and aimed to help New Zealanders live longer following a diagnosis.