Bulk packets of chips and boxes of crackers and cheese are stacked in the living room of Lisa Richards' home.
A box of packed lunches sits next to them.
The food is not for the Hikurangi woman's own children but for Whangarei school children who need lunch.
"It boiled down to the tamariki in the community. I wanted to support our younger generations to survive. I know there are a lot of families out there who are struggling but a lot of them have too much pride to speak out," Ms Richards said.
Last Tuesday Ms Richards spent about $300 on chips, LeSnacks, juice and other lunch box items for the 200 lunches she prepares each week for Hikurangi School and Whau Valley School.
She said she has experienced her own hardship when raising four kids and said she was once living on a sack of potatoes. Now that she is in a position to help, she wants to.
"I've known what it's like to reach rock bottom, to the point where I was thinking 'how much worse can it get?'
''There's no judgment from me because I know what it's like and I know the stress it causes. The daily living can cause a lot of depression."
Ms Richards is involved with Love Soup Whangarei - a group to feed the homeless which originated from Rotorua.
Charlotte Paul, who is part of Love Soup Whangarei and will be helping prepare the school lunch packs, said there were already a few groups feeding the homeless but preparing lunches for school children was a gap to be filled.
Ms Paul said it was in Ms Richards' nature to want to help.
Along with making lunches she also volunteers at Hikurangi School's breakfast club three times a week.
"She always wants to help people. I don't think I've ever known her not to. If I needed help she would be right there for me, no questions asked," Ms Paul said.
Hikurangi School principal Bruce Crawford said Ms Richards, who has been making the lunches for about a month, was "excellent".
"It's pretty awesome that she does this out of her own pocket. There is a huge demand for the lunches. They have chippies and juice and bars and for a lot of kids those little extras are exciting and new," he said.
Ms Richards said she would love to provide lunches to more schools in Whangarei, but cannot do so with her own funds.
If you would like to donate, or would like more information on how to help with the school lunch packs visit facebook.com/groups/soupkitchenwhangarei