Food trucks hampered in last week's tsunami warning threw open their doors to feed more than 300 schoolkids seeking safety on a Whangārei hilltop.
The act of kindness by Bidfood - a national wholesale food distributor - eased the hunger pains of Morningside Primary School and Renew School Whangārei pupils who evacuated to Anzac Park in Raumanga when the tsunami alert sounded.
Morningside Primary School participates in the Government's Ka Ora, Ka Ako programme which sees free nutritious lunches, provided by Lunch By Libelle, delivered to the premises every day.
Morningside Primary School principal Tom Clarkson said the drawn-out tsunami evacuation hindered the day's delivery and the children were without lunch.
Until a kind-hearted community stepped in, that is.
A cohort of residents and other businesses - including Columbus Coffee, Mitre 10, Mainfreight, Whangārei-based firefighter Jason Tana, Raumanga dairy owners, and more - donated food and water alongside Bidfood truck driver Paul Jakicevich; and Mellisa Mahana provided the kids with books to read to help pass the time.
"We have been blown away by the way our Morningside community has come together today to support each other," Clarkson said.
He also commended his staff and the kids themselves for keeping calm and taking the day's events in stride.
A production line of locals fired up the barbecue on one home's lawn with the permission of a family member. They prepared the fresh produce provided by Bidfood while locals Nina Cameron, Patricia Murray, Juanita Andrews, and others brought fresh fruit, bread, eggs, bacon and more from their homes.
One of the helpers, Johana Davis, said it was all about "pulling together".
"All of us were stepping in to make sure the kids are taken care of and we are doing something - making things happen - instead of standing around."
Bidfood operations manager Fraser Sutherland said helping out hungry kids was a "no-brainer".
"It was nothing special. We had the stuff there and there were kids everywhere. I'd like to think others would've done the same."