The Trust were approached by Mary Goodwin, a parent from Brooklyn school, who after seeing a school screening of ‘That Sugar Film’ wanted to initiate some healthy changes in the food environment at school events.
Mary wrote “In the past, I have not been a strong advocate for healthy food and our own family certainly has improvements to make, but I think as individuals and as a community we need to start making a change in our diet... thus my interest in doing this.”
Mary proposed to the school Principal and fair committee a ‘Wonderful water' stall at the fair and received their full support. She sought financial support from the HFF Trust to cover the costs of the compostable cups, the fruit and the ice. As part of this sponsorship we asked that the Fair committee agreed to remove sugar sweetened beverages from the fair.
Mary decided to ask for a koha for the water rather than charge a set fee.“This way people who understand and value the concept will hopefully contribute financially. For those who may not feel so positive about having to go without sugary drinks then having a refreshing cool drink FREE of charge may help to change their attitudes about WONDERFUL WATER being a perfect choice of drink.”
The water was beautifully displayed in labelled jugs – Strawberry and Borage, Cucumber and Mint, Lemon and Tangelo and Orange. The stall had long queues and was greeted with enthusiasm and appreciation. One child came running over to her parent and said “Mum, you’ll never guess what they have here, they’ve got a water stall, it’s such a good idea they never usually have that at school fairs!”. The children were really taken by the choices and came back many times.
In an environment like a school fair where there are a lot of sweet treats available it was fantastic to have only water as the drink choice- it is only water that truly quenches thirst.
Doing away with sugar sweetened beverages meant the school provided a consistent message for their children, families and community - a message that links with current research and the educational messages that the children are receiving in the classroom, from the Life Education Trust and from the school dental service.
We applaud Mary Goodwin and Brooklyn school for providing such leadership and encourage other school communities to ditch sugary drinks, offer water in an attractive way and prioritise kid’s health.
The queues of people and the fact that the koha donations covered the costs shows that this leadership is strongly welcomed in our communities