Three Havelock North High School students have put tackling food waste at the forefront of their education in an attempt to give back to Nourished for Nil.
Business students Georgia Paterson, Hannah O'Keefe and Jahna Teinamate created a new recipe book, Nourished Recipes – Easy Meals, that require minimal utensils and time.
The year 13 students designed the book to work alongside ingredients that are commonly received at the Nourished for Nil food rescue project.
All profits from the book will also be donated to the non-profit food rescue organisation.
Georgia said they couldn't ignore how much food is wasted in the community.
"All of us have done food and nutrition and hospitality throughout school, we started noticing how much food waste is around Hawke's Bay," she said.
"We knew about nourish for Nil and wanted to help them. They give so much back to the community so we wanted to do something to help them for a change."
Nourished for Nil founder Christina McBeth said they were extremely touched by the girls' efforts to make a difference.
"It's wonderful to see this young generation thinking innovatively, with an eye on food waste and on a scale that includes their community.
"Despite the stumbling block Covid-19 presented they persisted and sold their recipe books, not only was it well received but all proceeds were donated. These ladies score top marks with us."
As well as donating the profits to Nourished for Nil, the business and food technology students donated an initial 50 books to the organisation.
Georgia said the recipe books went down so well at Nourished for Nil's depot in Hastings that people were bringing in the meals they'd made for the volunteers to taste.
"People loved the recipes. We knew that a lot of people that use Nourish for Nil needed help with cooking balanced and nutritious meals for their families."
Hannah said they designed all the meal ideas from scratch.
"All the recipes were cooked and created in our food rooms, we got to utilise our time in our food tech class as well as business. We made it a project for both classes."
The students secured generous donations from local businesses to cover their printing costs, making more books than originally planned.
Bay Espresso and Rooster Brew House owner Chris Jarvis funded the entire cost of printing 100 books.
Te Mata Mushrooms, True Earth, Oxygen and Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst also helped to fund and support the recipe book.
Havelock North High School food technology teacher Suzy Newman said her pupils were determined to make their idea work.
"From day dot the girls had the motivation to do something that was actually making a donation and making a difference to the community."