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The Rapid Relief Team (RRT) has launched a new initiative to support children from disadvantaged backgrounds with tens of thousands of nutritious Smarrt Cookie bars being distributed to primary schools across Australia. 


With the connection between good nutrition and successful learning well known, 42,000 Smarrt Cookie bars are being introduced in 83 regions across Australia.  


The initiative aims to assist in the fight against hunger in primary school aged children and break down the barrier hunger can play in distracting children from their education.


“School can be taxing enough for some kids, but what is true for all kids is they can’t learn when they have hungry tummies,” Dan Alderton, National Operations Director for RRT said. 


RRT’s Smarrt Cookie nutritional bars are created by nutritionists and have a balance of energy, protein, carbohydrates, fats and fibre in equal proportions of daily intake values, including 10 vitamins and six minerals.


“We commenced this initiative recognising the growing number of hungry kids at school and the increasing difficulty for lower-income families to provide healthy food amidst cost-of-living pressures,” Dan Alderton said. 


“The Smarrt Cookie bar builds upon our extensive experience in providing food and care to the vulnerable as well as to disaster locations following fires, drought and flood,” Dan said.  


“We hope this helps more Australian kids reach their full potential.” 


Designed to be complementary to existing school breakfast programs or where they aren’t in place, RRT’s Smarrt Cookie initiative will help school communities meet the nutrition gap for students in need.


The Smarrt Cookie initiative was developed in collaboration with Cookie Time in New Zealand, as part of their One Square Meal (OSM) Everyday Nutrition range, delivering ‘plant-based products with nutritional credentials’. 


Telopea ‘Schools as Community Centres’ (SaCC) Project is located in the grounds of Telopea Public School, and Project Facilitator, Pip Martins, shared the Smarrt Cookie initiative is helping students concentrate in class, and acts as a conversation starter to support children in need.


“Healthier, happier kids are able to concentrate longer and participate more fulsomely in lessons and school activities.


“Often children who come to school without breakfast also don’t have lunch to eat and might not have had dinner the night before. The Smarrt Cookie bars offer a healthy, nutritious snack to meet that gap.


“Recently we had a situation where the recess bell rang and all the students ran from the classroom excitedly while one student walked slowly, visually slumped. He picked up his empty bag, he double checked to see if there was lunch packed for him but sadly he had nothing. I discretely gave him some Smarrt Cookie bars. It was the perfect solution to help lift his spirits so he could enjoy lunch with his peers,” Pip said.   ​ 


Foodbank’s Australian Hunger Report of 2019 highlighted more than 815,000 Australians receive food relief each month, with one third of these children.


Dan Alderton said the Smarrt Cookie initiative builds on RRT’s existing Food Box program – providing emergency food supplies for people and families in need.


The RRT Food Box contains a variety of non-perishable, long-life food and can feed a family of four for up to 48 hours. 9,585 Food Boxes were donated by RRT in 2020. 


The Smarrt Cookie initiative is currently being trialled to assess demand and interest. A further 21,000 Smarrt Cookies are in production for distribution during Term 4 of this school year.


If your school is interested in the Smarrt Cookie program, RRT is happy to help. Contact action.au@rrtglobal.org to enquire.  



Media enquiries: Bas Bolyn 0447 486 195



About the Rapid Relief Team (RRT)


The Plymouth Brethren Christian Church established the RRT in 2013 to express the Church’s principles of care and compassion. The RRT is staffed by Church volunteers who provide catering services at a range of charitable events and emergencies.


Globally, the RRT has more than 14,500 volunteers and operates in Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, France, the United States, Canada and Germany.