A Porirua family are on a mission to supply hundreds of school lunches to hungry children in the lower Wellington region.
Shari-ana Clifford, her sister Tomairangi Pahina and six other family members spent Anzac Day cooking, baking and packing more than 300 school lunches to be distributed in the local community on Monday next week when children head back to school after the holidays.
Mrs Clifford said it had always been a dream of her sisters to tackle the issue of child hunger and, on Sunday, the duo decided to make it a reality.
"We grew up [in a family of seven children] and neither of our parents worked and our father is in prison at the moment. We were those children who never had food and whose parents often weren't home," Mrs Clifford said.
"I talked to my husband [about the idea] and he came home [on Sunday] with a lot of food and that is when it started."
After deciding to take action Mrs Clifford shared the family's intentions on Facebook in a post that was met with a flood of support from the community and hundreds of requests for lunches. The post has since garnered more than 1500 likes and hundreds of comments.
"I expected there to be maybe 200 children needing lunches but I didn't expect it would get to the extent where there were people wanting to be continuous sponsors [of the cause]. I went to bed with 50 requests and by the morning I had 300 messages flooding in and then I had to get my sister on board and she had got a couple of hundred requests," she said.
"We have got a big book of people's names and how many they need, who can make pick-ups and we will be dropping off as far as the Hutt."
Each food pack contains around six items ranging from popcorn and muffins to carrot dips and ham rolls.
The packages will be delivered or picked up by families throughout the week.
Mrs Clifford said the project was being funded by the family and whatever assistance they received from members of the community.
"We have three children and we live with my mum, we don't have a lot but what we [do] have spare, we [will] just spend on helping other children.
"We don't really want to know why parents don't have money, it doesn't matter to us as long as they have something to eat."
The family had been contacted by several businesses with offers of food donations, she said.
Mrs Clifford said feedback from the local community had been "amazing".
"Everyone is offering help even if it is not money or donations. [They are offering] to come and help bake or drop things off if they are picking things up and dropping them off to other families."
Food donations can be dropped off at Rach's Barbershop in Porirua.