Hunger and junk meals at schools is a political hot potato, but not one that concerned Cannons Creek pupils yesterday when Kids Kai Time came calling.
All 176 children at Cannons Creek School enjoyed a lunch bag filled with a cheese-and-lettuce roll, fruit, yoghurt pottle, muesli bar, box of raisins and either chips or cheese puffs. And for good measure, a toothbrush and paste to scrub the gnashers afterwards.
Kids Kai Time is a charitable organisation set up to educate and nourish children in lower-decile schools.
Kids Kai Time founder Michelle McArthur said she set up the organisation after seeing children in her daughter's school in the Wairarapa coming to school without lunches.
Having been in operation for only 18 months, Kids Kai Time still received little funding, but BNZ and Dimension Data had contributed to yesterday's lunch.
Mrs McArthur said she often dug into her own savings to make the lunches happen for the children. Although she had almost gone bankrupt, she kept doing it because the children were so grateful. “You see it in their eyes, if I stop I'll never forgive myself.”
Each meal provided by Kids Kai Time cost less than $3 per child.
Year six Cannons Creek School pupil Debbie Brown said while she normally bought a hot dog and fruit juice for lunch, she was quite excited about yesterday's new-look lunch - even though she was “not really a raisins type of girl”.
Office manager Kerrin Kilpatrick said the school was keen on hearing feedback from the children about the lunches to consider using the programme within the school.
New entrant teacher Kirsty Holden said that all the children in her class loved the free lunch.
“They enjoyed it, they ate it and loved the fact it was a surprise.”
She said that the lunches would be a good alternative to the snack packs the children already bought at the dairy across the road.
“They have rubbish in them.”
- © Fairfax NZ News