Eat My Lunch, the social enterprise which provides lunches for children in low-decile schools across New Zealand, is worried children stuck at home during lockdown are not getting the meals they need to stay healthy.
The initiative will launch on Monday and the company has started a givealittle campaign, in the hopes New Zealanders will help with the added costs of delivering to individual homes.
Eat My Lunch will deliver a lunch pack to the house of each child they supply school lunches to.
The pack will include a week's worth of ingredients, including things like a loaf of bread, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, ham, tuna, five servings of fruit and also snacks.
Fonterra will provide the milk to go in the packs and, in partnership with Nanogirl Michelle Dickinson, the packs will also include a science experiment sheet for the children to do at home.
"One of my biggest concerns is that school closures mean children are losing access to food," Eat My Lunch founder Lisa King told the Herald.
"Being at home they are still going to need food, probably even more so now."
To comply with the rules of alert level 4, the box will be supplied via contactless delivery and will include the ingredients, rather than prepared meals.
The company will feed 2000 New Zealand children during the lockdown period.
King estimates it will cost about $40,000 to make the contactless delivers to children's homes.
Foodstuffs has kickstarted the campaign with a contribution of $100,000.
"Costs are higher than for our schools programme, driven by the need to deliver direct to homes and the use of paid staff to pack and deliver food (instead of volunteers as we previously relied upon)," the company says in the givealittle page.
"Eat My Lunch's previous model relied on corporates buying lunches to fund the free lunches for kids. With Covid-19, we have had to change our operations to home deliveries of boxes of fresh groceries (fruit, veges, bread, etc) as well as providing food to some essential services still operating.
"The reality is that these operations are not generating anywhere near the money necessary to fully fund the social side. Therefore we are asking for your help to make it possible for us to cover the additional costs of getting food to the kids."