Grants given for kids

FOUR REASONS WHY: Flinders University's Caroline Brook with Four Reasons Why representative Margaret Morris and founder Trudi Shelton alongside Flinders University's Rob Stafford as they present the funding. Picture: SUPPLIED

Charlotte Varcoe

HEALTHY eating habits and hydration has been well supported by Flinders University with a total of $4000 being shared between two local organisations.

The Mount Gambier Children’s Centre and Four Reasons Why received $2000 each to help further differing projects.

The Children’s Centre project – which is jointly funded by the Department of Human Services – will encourage students and their families to cook healthy meals.

The program will consist of two-hour weekly sessions over an eight-week period and will be held alternatively between the Children’s Centre and Melaleuca Park Primary School.

Children’s Centre community development coordinator Kerrin Donnelly said the program was focusing on cooking for families to help young children in their preschool years develop healthy eating habits.

“It is about being able to increase families’ knowledge and information about healthy eating for the children and how they can overcome some of the struggles which young families sometimes have in terms of fussy eaters and providing suitable food for family mealtimes,” Ms Donnelly said.

“I am really looking forward to just seeing families enjoy some lovely stress-free, healthy mealtimes with their children and we have already held three sessions and the families involved are picking up some new knowledge and skills which has helped them better connect with the children which is also great to see.”

Four Reasons Why founder Trudi Shelton said the organisation’s $2000 would further help with purchasing and distributing drink bottles for students in need.

Ms Shelton said the charity organisation identified early on that there were a lot of children turning up to schools without drink bottles.

“Whether this was because the families could not afford them or whether they were just not getting them, there were a lot of children who did not have them,” Ms Shelton said.

“To alleviate the pressure on families we provide drink bottles to the schools as research has shown hydrated children learn better, play better and are happier all around and obviously it is good for their health to be hydrated during the day.”

She said the drink bottles were provided in bulk to schools upon request with teachers identifying students who may need them.

The students were then given a drink bottle which was named and remained at the school to be given to them each day.

“Schools do not have the money for the drink bottles or the resources to be sending people out to go purchase them so this way we drop them off in bulk and any school is welcome to approach us for them,” Ms Shelton said.

“It has been really successful and demand keeps growing so we look at funding resources to help us because there are freight costs involved and being a charity we rely on donations to keep us running.”

Ms Shelton also thanked Flinders University and its grant process which she claimed was a “very easy” application process.