Young Artists Competition Charity Profile: Nutrition Plus

Nutrition Plus is one of our wonderful Young Artists Competition partner charities. They are a non-for-profit organisation dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Children. Not only do they work to improve the physical health, but also the cultural wellbeing of these children living in remote communities. These factors make them an ideal partner for Yarn’s Young Artist Competition, as we aim to support cultural connection and community.

Image Courtesy of Nutrition Plus, 2020.

Nutrition Plus are working hard to close the gap in terms of nutrition as, according to their website, there is a 17-year gap in expected lifespan between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Australia. This is a serious issue, and it is often poor nutrition that leads to major health issues and early deaths. Nutrition Plus further informs us that:

“Poor nutrition is cited as the number one contributing factor to Indigenous health issues with diabetes and many other diseases and illnesses often improved or even prevented by good nutrition.” - Nutrition Plus

Access to fresh fruit and vegetables is the key issue that Indigenous communities face, especially in remote communities. Some of the issues related to this include physical access due to remote locations, lack of education about the importance of eating healthy, and the costs of supply. These are hurdles that Nutrition Plus works to help communities and schools overcome.

Through their Schools Program and the Ten Million Meals Program, Nutrition Plus educates children, parents, and other community members about healthy eating through lunch programs, cooking lessons and the implementation of bush tuckers gardens. Their Schools Program provides funding to engage students, teachers, and the community to help them build healthier lifestyles for their children. They teach children the importance of eating fresh fruits and vegetables and help them to maintain and harvest their own produce. One of the schools that Nutrition Plus works with is Biraban Public School, which is located at Lake Macquarie, NSW. The organisation assisted the school in establishing a mini fruit orchard and a series of gardens with vegetables and bush tucker. Nutrition Plus also created a yarning circle for the school which incorporates plants of local cultural significance.

Nutrition Plus partners with Juice Plus+, an organisation that provides important nutritional supplementation through a range of different products. They make these products available to children through the school canteens.

“The Juice Plus+® product is whole food-based nutrition, including juice powder concentrated from 17 different fruits, vegetables and grains. Each ingredient is specially selected to provide a broad range of nutritional benefits.” - Nutrition Plus

Kids enjoying their Juice Plus products. Image courtesy of Nutrition Plus, 2020.

 10 Million Meals is a global initiative by the Juice Plus Foundation which is carried out by Nutrition Plus in Australia and New Zealand. The program focuses upon providing meals for disadvantaged children, youth, and homeless people. Nutrition Plus began the program in July 2016 with the goal of distributing 10,000 within their first year; they completed this goal in just 8 months. The non-profit now runs 9 projects and have successfully distributed over 25,000 meals.

Nutrition Plus provides a vital service to Indigenous communities. Children, parents, and teachers all need to learn about the importance of healthy eating so that this knowledge can become commonplace and be passed on to future generations. Here at Yarn, we are proud to partner with an organisation that is doing so much good for the lives of young Indigenous people. If you would like to find out more about Nutrition Plus and their impressive work, or to donate click here.

Also, if you would like to find out more about our Young Artists competition or to vote for your favourite artwork click here. There is not long to go now! Submissions close this Friday the 9th and people’s choice voting ends on Sunday the 11th.