Fresh fruit and vegetable group partners with Auckland Council leisure centres

Four Auckland Council leisure centres in the city’s south are promoting healthy eating by becoming pick-up points for fresh fruit and vegetables purchased online.

An agreement between Auckland Council Pools & Leisure and social enterprise company FoodTogether allows people to order a pack of fruit and vegetables at and pick them up from one of four centres. Those centres are:

The initiative is a further commitment to the plans of Auckland Council partner Healthy Families Manukau, Manurewa-Papakura, to increase the accessibility of healthy, affordable food and beverage options in South Auckland. It builds on the success of removing sugar-sweetened beverages from Auckland Council leisure centre vending machines.

“It’s great to see Auckland Council leading the way in creating health-promoting environments. We are also working with large employers, medical centres and community facilities across South Auckland to trial FoodTogether in places where people live, learn, work and play,” says Healthy Families Manukau, Manurewa-Papakura Manager Ben Youdan.

Auckland Leisure Senior Activation Advisor Peter Caccioppoli says the partnership provides another great way for the four centres to promote healthy living.

“Our trainers already promote healthy eating as part of the personalised programme members receive when they sign up.

“Now people can use our facilities to keep themselves healthy through exercise, then pick up fresh fruit and vegetables to help their families eat well,” Caccioppoli says.

FoodTogether Development Manager Craig Dixon says he is thrilled with the agreement.

“Getting these leisure centres on board gives us a fantastic opportunity to get more fruit and vegetables into homes that really need them by vastly expanding our reach in South Auckland.

“Our team selects a variety of produce on the customers’ behalf each week to ensure the best value for money, based on seasonal selection and pricing.”

Orders are made online by midday Monday for pick up Wednesday of the same week between 3pm and 6pm at the centre’s reception.

The value bag is usually $12, but Auckland Council Pools & Leisure customers receive a $3 discount on their first purchase until November 14.

FoodTogether is run by a mix of not-for-profit trusts, churches and incorporated societies, which provide thousands of weekly orders to communities throughout Auckland, Wellington and Canterbury.