A handful of Whakarewarewa School students receive hot meals at lunch and baked beans at breakfast each day from KidsCan.
They are among of 31,000 children a week being fed nationwide with hot meals, beans, bread, spreads, fruit, yoghurt, super grain bars and scroggin.
As part of this, KidsCan has more than doubled the number of hot lunches it's distributing this year.
Hinei Taute has been Whakarewarewa School principal for at least two years, and she said KidsCan was helping feed students before she took up the role.
"The meals allow the children to engage. They mean the children are fed and warm. If they aren't - they can't concentrate."
She said the variety had widened to include everything from pasta to soup.
"There's no stigma about it."
Some students are also supported with Full Puku Full Potential meals, and Taute said the sponsors' support reduced a burden on staff that she had seen elsewhere.
"I have taught in schools before where the kids did not have kai and us teachers would just hand ours over."
KidsCan currently supports 740 schools and 25 early childhood centres with food, raincoats, shoes and health items in New Zealand.
In June, the Rotorua Daily Post reported that roughly 280 children were arriving at school each day without proper food or clothing in the Rotorua district.
They were attending some of the 35 schools on KidsCan's national waitlist at the time.
In a media release this week, KidsCan said its servings were the only hot meals some children were getting each day as families struggled to afford winter bills.
Co-founder Julie Chapman said: "Teachers are telling us children are being kept home from school when there's no food for lunch or [they are] turning up with nothing."
Go to www.KidsCan.org.nz for more information about the charity.