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Friday, 03 April 2020

Eat My Lunch, Foodstuffs North Island launch new programme to feed hungry kids at home

Givealittle crowdfunding campaign will help fund GIVE food packs.

Eat My Lunch will next week begin home delivery of food packs, containing a week’s ingredients for lunches, to the 2,000 kids who used to benefit from its social programme across schools in Auckland and Wellington.

Foodstuffs North Island is getting behind the initiative with a $100,000 initial contribution, and Eat My Lunch is launching a Givealittle crowdfunding campaign today to ensure as many hungry kids as possible can get fed during the COVID-19 lockdown.

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Just because schools are closed doesn’t mean the need to feed hungry kids is going away. If anything, as the economic impact of COVID-19 bites we know there will be an even greater need. We are more committed than ever to continue our mission of feeding hungry Kiwi kids,” says Eat My Lunch founder Lisa King.

Foodstuffs North Island CEO Chris Quin says: “It’s been an incredible time keeping up with the customer demand in our Pak’n Save, New World, 4 Square and Gilmours stores, but we also know this need is critical - so this is a pragmatic, fast way to get help to where it’s needed.

Eat My Lunch has completely revamped the way it operates to continue feeding hungry Kiwi kids who can no longer receive free food at school. Its previous model relied on corporates buying lunches to fund the free lunches for kids with a “Buy one, Give one” model. Since the COVID-19 lockdown, most of the corporate demand has disappeared, although Eat My Lunch is providing food to some essential services as well as making home deliveries of boxes of fresh groceries.

“The reality is that our new business services are not generating anywhere near the money necessary to fully fund the social side. In addition, our costs are higher as we need to deliver direct to homes and use paid staff to pack and deliver food (instead of volunteers),” says King.

"We estimate it’s going to cost around $40,000 each week to deliver 2,000 GIVE food packs to kids’ homes. Therefore, we need to take a fresh approach so we can continue to deliver food to the kids,” says King.

Longstanding Eat My Lunch partner Foodstuffs North Island has pledged $100,000 to get the GIVE initiative off to a great start, and today Eat My Lunch is launching a Givealittle campaign (https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/feed-kids-in-need-during-covid-19) to raise more funds.

Fonterra is also supporting the initiative by providing milk from their Milk in Schools programme to be included in the lunch packs, and Nanogirl Dr Michelle Dickinson will be including science experiment worksheet to help build superpowers at home.

Although this is a difficult time for many New Zealanders, we also know how much they care about those less fortunate in our community. The Givealittle campaign is an opportunity for them to contribute in a meaningful way,” says King.

Foodstuffs North Island CEO Chris Quin says the co-operative has been a proud supporter of Eat My Lunch for several years, including making a substantial investment in 2017. “There is a real alignment between the two organisations to be doing good within our communities and feeding Kiwi families. This new GIVE programme is a great example of how organisations can respond to major challenges and completely rethink how they operate, while staying true to their core purpose. Foodstuffs is proud to get things going with our $100,000 donation.

King says when schools shut last week, Eat My Lunch reached out via email to the families of the 2,000 kids in the schools programme, and around 1,500 have already responding asking to please keep the food coming – “so it’s clear there is a real need within the community for this help.

Eat My Lunch is looking at scaling the GIVE home delivery programme beyond the current 2,000 kids in the schools programme, but this will depend on funding, logistics and the length of the schools closure.

Eat My Lunch has been given Essential Service status under the COVID-19 lockdown. Staff adhere to the strictest processes and procedures to ensure full compliance of all Food Safety regulations and Level 4 guidelines.

 

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