Grant helps grow healthy families

Pictured from left, Paul Morgan, John Willemsen (trustee / manager), Lois Ion and Rhianna Lea.

A $7,000 grant from the Rotorua Trust is helping the Jacob Willemsen Trust grow healthy families in Rotorua.

Trustee John Willemsen says the Rotorua Trust’s support for the healthy living programme was brilliant from the start of the trust last year, providing advice and pointers in becoming established.

The main goal of the Jacob Willemsen Trust is to work with families on low incomes to offer them assistance with basic gardening and cooking skills and a simple fitness programme.

“It is non-profit and we are all volunteers – we do it so we can give back to the community.”

The Jacob Willemsen Trust works with the Salvation Army and other organisations that refer families to it. After a brief form-filling process, a plan is developed based on giving the families the ability to grow their vegetables for use in meal preparation.

The cooking class part of the programme is straightforward – starting mainly with the likes of flour and rice and how to transform these basics into easy-to-prepare and enjoyable meals. Qualified chefs teach the basic menus to cooking classes.

The gardens are designed to be sustainable. Vegetables are planted in boxes made out of pallets. Larger boxes contain vegetable plantings, and herbs grown in smaller boxes give meals an extra, healthy boost.

A professional gym runs the fitness programme, providing participants with ways to undertake fitness routines in the home rather than in a formal fitness environment.

John Willemsen
Jacob Willemsen Trust 027 598 7878
or at the Community Centre, 16 Te Ngae Rd, Rotorua

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