Spending power brings free school lunch
These teens understand the power of the dollar.
Year 11 Auckland International College (AIC) students Angela Jing and Megan Fan are harnessing their fellow students' purchasing power to give free lunches to other Auckland kids.
The pupils' initiative, Launch a Lunch, began in December with the aim of donating healthy school lunches to low decile schools.
Up to 10 per cent of the money AIC students spend at four Blockhouse Bay eateries is donated to Launch a Lunch.
Jing said students were helping their initiative with minimal effort, and the businesses were contributing positively to the community.
"It turns out a lot of AIC students buy their lunch from local restaurants everyday anyway," Jing said.
"My friends and I go to sushi shops and bakeries to get our lunch almost everyday, but now part of the money we spend is going towards helping provide for lunches for less fortunate students."
Launch a Lunch made its first donation of sushi, sandwiches, juices and sausage roll lunches worth $475 to Favona School in South Auckland in April.
With four restaurants already behind them, the 16-year-olds want more to join, and also get the public on board with donations.
"We really want this to grow, and not just be a short term initiative," Fan said.
"We're trying to get as much attention as possible so more restaurants could sign up," Jing said.
Through research the pair said they discovered about 50 per cent of students in low decile schools in New Zealand go to school without lunches.
"And, it results in low concentration, low attendance rates and negative behaviours in schools which leads to gaps in their education.
"So, we wanted to create a programme where we could help change this," Jing said.
Visit www.launchalunch.org for more information.