When Tauranga principal Kimberley Henderson-Ginns heard a nationwide lockdown was coming into effect, her stomach dropped.
Not because she thought her pupils may slack off or struggle to get their work done, but instead she wondered how many would be fed without the school.
"My first thought was are these children going to go hungry?"
Henderson-Ginns was the new principal of Greerton Village School, a decile-two primary school in central Tauranga.
Many of the children came from low-income families, some with parents who had lost jobs in the Covid-19 fallout and others who were crammed into accommodation with upwards of 10 children.
Henderson-Ginns knew that feeding all of these children for some parents would be near impossible in lockdown.
The school was a part of the KidsCan programme and fed a large portion of the pupils' breakfast, morning tea and lunch everyday.
At the end of the term, the school created food parcels with all their leftovers. This included muesli bars, cereal, fresh fruit and even frozen sausages.
The families were "so grateful" to receive "anything that might help" over the four-week lockdown, she said
Some school families were living in small two-bedroom homes while others were in emergency accommodation like motels, she said.
Extended families had come together for lockdown support, but this was not always easy on finances for them, she said.
Feeding this many people on possibly one or no solid income would be causing major stress for these families, she said.
Now with a new initiative from KidsCan, some of the most-affected families may get some relief.
Thousands of food parcels were being made by KidsCan to be delivered to some of the country's most vulnerable families.
KidsCan was shipping out 323 food parcels across the Bay of Plenty via 11 schools over the next week or so.
"We know times are tough for everyone, but we want people to imagine how scary this is when you live in poverty. These families already lived week to week. Now, many have lost their jobs and they have no buffer," KidsCan chief executive Julie Chapman said.
Each food parcel would provide food and essential items to help support a household of five for two weeks.
They included rice, pasta, pasta sauce, bread, heat and eat meals, fruit cups, baked beans, peanut butter, muesli bars, fruit salad, tissues, hand wash - and even Easter eggs.
The organisation had seen unprecedented demand for help over this period, she said.
They had launched an urgent appeal to raise $500,000 to fund the parcels nationwide, calling on the public to give just $19 to help stop a family going hungry during Covid-19.
Henderson-Ginns said she asked her teachers to each make a list of the children they believed would most benefit from the food parcels.
Many of the families would truly be living "day to day" and she said she had "no doubt" some "children will be going hungry" without the support.
"It really puts things into perspective."
Bay of Plenty District Health Board clinical lead dietitian of paediatrics Julie Graves said a well-balanced healthy diet was important for growing children at any time, especially given the current situation and winter months ahead.
She said it was vital for a child's development, immune system and provided energy to learn and play.
KidsCan had already recorded a 20 per cent increase in schools looking for support once the lockdown was lifted.
They also provided food, raincoats, shoes, socks, and basic health and hygiene items in 787 schools nationwide.
Anyone wanting to donate can visit the KidsCan's 19 for 19 website.