LEVIN FAMILY HEALTH - Open 1st August 2023


Gary says.... In Part 1 of 3. Feeding the Minds of our Children comes from Feeding their Bellies.

Nourishing Minds: The Vital Role of Nutrition in Education

As children return to various educational institutions - be it pre-school, kohanga, primary school, intermediate, or college - it's crucial to evaluate whether they're equipped with the necessary resources for a productive, creative, and rewarding academic year. Central to this consideration is the provision of nutritious school lunches. It's widely recognised that attending school on an empty stomach undermines the very goals of education, hindering learning opportunities and stifling the creation of an encouraging environment for students. Thus, ensuring access to wholesome meals is essential not only for physical health but also for optimising educational outcomes. By prioritising nutritious school lunches, educational institutions demonstrate their commitment to nurturing the holistic development of students, fostering their cognitive abilities, and supporting their overall well-being.

In Levin and the wider districts of Horowhenua, ensuring that school children of all ages have access to an adequate and nutritious diet is paramount for fostering an environment conducive to learning. Levin Family Health explores the critical importance of addressing food insecurity among students and the profound impact it has on their ability to thrive academically and beyond.

Importance of Nutrition in Education:

Research consistently demonstrates the integral connection between nutrition and academic performance. Adequate nourishment supports cognitive development, concentration, and memory retention, all essential components of effective learning. Conversely, hunger and malnutrition can impair cognitive function, hinder academic achievement, and exacerbate existing socio-economic disparities.

Challenges in Levin and Horowhenua:

Despite being a region rich in agricultural resources, Levin and the wider districts of Horowhenua face significant challenges concerning food insecurity. Many families struggle to afford nutritious meals regularly, leading to pervasive issues of hunger and inadequate nutrition among school children. This not only compromises their academic potential but also perpetuates cycles of poverty and inequality.

Impact on Academic Achievement:

The consequences of food insecurity extend beyond the classroom, affecting overall academic achievement and future opportunities. Hungry students are more likely to experience fatigue, irritability, and difficulty concentrating, hindering their ability to engage effectively with learning activities and achieve their full potential. Furthermore, the long-term effects of poor nutrition can impede educational attainment and limit socio-economic mobility.

Addressing Food Insecurity:

Addressing food insecurity requires a multi-faceted approach involving collaboration between government agencies, educational institutions, community organizations, and local businesses. Initiatives such as school meal programs, food banks, community gardens, and nutritional education campaigns play a crucial role in providing immediate relief and fostering sustainable solutions to hunger and malnutrition among school children.


Ensuring that school children in Levin and the wider districts of Horowhenua have enough to eat is not just a matter of social responsibility but a fundamental investment in the future. By prioritizing access to nutritious food, we can empower students to reach their academic potential, break the cycle of poverty, and create a more equitable society where every child has the opportunity to thrive.