Quest Catering has donated food to Picton schools to keep down the costs of school camps.
The catering company has a commercial kitchen in Picton and is providing the first night's meal for each school camp this year as a gesture of community goodwill.
Quest Catering co-owner Linda Grace said the company was happy to help the community and hoped to ease the cost of camps for schools.
"We've just left it to the schools to decide what they want from a special schools' menu."
Schools could pick from a range of professionally cooked meals including cottage pie, macaroni, mushrooms, chicken, coleslaw, corn on the cob, carrots and even chocolate pudding for dessert.
The schools tended to have their gala days during the busy summer season, which meant Quest Catering had to look for a different time of the year to show their support.
"It's our annual school fundraiser," Ms Grace said.
The Waikawa Bay School trip required cold food, chicken, coleslaw and potato salad because they went to Wellington and spent their first night at the zoo.
The next school to pick from the menu will be Koromiko School, who are also heading to Wellington.
Picton School principal Alister McCosh said the catering company's food helped to keep costs down and had made it easier for the school to get children on a three-day camp to Mistletoe Bay in August.
"It was a wonderful gesture and it lowered the price per child.
"We would never let financial issues get in the way of sending children to camp, but it's a big help."
Quest Catering provided cooked meals for 35 children and several adults for their first night at camp.
It also meant the adults could focus on setting up camp when they first arrived rather than worrying about preparing food to feed the children, Mr McCosh said.
St Joseph's School principal Peter Knowles said the meal was a godsend when the school took a ski trip to Mt Lyford at the start of the month.
Quest Catering hopes to continue the free service next year.
- The Marlborough Express
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