5 July 2021
CareFlight has partnered with Woolworths to deliver boxes of fresh fruit to kids in remote communities.
The Remote Free Fruit for Kids program has been trialed since the beginning of 2020, with over 300 boxes of fresh fruit from Woolworths delivered to over 30 remote communities so far.
CareFlight Pilot Peter Washington said, “Every day we fly into several remote communities to treat and transport critically ill and injured patients and we’re always looking for ways to improve patient outcomes in those areas. This initiative in partnership with Woolworths is one of the ways we’re doing that.
“We deliver nine boxes, about 135 kilograms, of fresh fruit every week. We pick up the fruit from Woolworths Nightcliff in the morning and take it to the different community clinics we fly into throughout the day.
“The idea was actually born during a grocery run at my local Woolworths in Nightcliff, I was shopping with my three kids and as usual they ran straight to the Free Fruit for Kids stand for a banana. As a parent I was thinking it was a great initiative, and I realised kids in remote communities don’t have the same access to it.
“As an aeromedical pilot working in remote healthcare, I see firsthand how important nutrition is to health outcomes. So I joined the dots between the program and our ability to take it to remote areas whilst providing lifesaving medical care,” Peter Washington said.
The initiative is made possible thanks to the generous fruit donations from Woolworths.
Woolworths Store Manager Paul Burgess said, “We’ve worked with the CareFlight Territory team for many years, and we’re thrilled to partner to provide free fruit to kids in remote communities across the Northern Territory.
“Our goal is to bring a little bit of good to everyone, every day, and making healthy food more accessible to children is one of the best ways we can do that.”
The program has been welcomed by local clinics.
Ramingining Acting Clinic Manager Catherine Connor said, “CareFlight makes our kids happy, but the fruit they bring them makes them even HAPPIER. I always give the fruit out and keep a bowl on our front desk.”
As well as clinic deliveries, CareFlight also organises for the fruit boxes to be delivered to local schools.
Assistant Principal at the Alyangula Area School Jessica Goveas said, “The initiative is hugely appreciated by the Alyangula Area school community! It means our students get the opportunity to access a variety of fresh and healthy fruit and have enjoyed making colourful fruit salads and making healthy choices at school.
“It also helps us feel acknowledged in relation to the challenges we can sometimes face with the lack of access to fresh fruit being in a remote community. It is wonderful that we have been thought about and catered for by this wonderful gesture!”