Early morning on Tuesday 12th September, a group of Stray staffers walked into the Auckland warehouse that serves as the headquarters for the Eat My Lunch program as part of our initiative to Make a Difference!
Their mission for the day: prepare and pack 1,485 lunches that would help feed the hungry school children of Auckland!
Inspired by the work of Stray’s partner Kohutapu Lodge at the Strademark Lake Aniwhenua stop, Stray HQ staff wanted to do a similar project closer to home. Kohutapu Lodge regularly takes Stray passengers to visit the local Murupara Area School kids and deliver food parcels made from leftover hangi feasts.
It is a sad reality, but there are many children in New Zealand that go to school every day without lunch. The Eat My Lunch charity’s mission is to combat child hunger through something as easy as ordering lunch. Based on the concept of ‘buy one, give one,’ when people in Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington buy their own lunches from the program, part of each purchase donates a healthy, freshly prepared lunch to a hungry kid.
To date, Eat My Lunch has served over 550,000 lunches to Kiwi school children around Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington. The organisation relies mostly on volunteers to come in each morning to make and pack the lunches and distribute them to the participating area schools.
So bright and early before the sun was even up, Stray staff found themselves making row after row of cheese sandwiches and stuffing the prepared sandwiches in brown paper bags with sliced up carrots and packets of popcorn. While it was an earlier start than many were used to, everyone who participated agreed that it was well worth the early morning to help feed more than 1,400 hungry Kiwi kids.
After such an incredibly satisfying experience and knowing the team contributed to a wonderful community program, everyone involved said they would happily come back to do it again. There were others from the Stray team that were not able to come this time around, so future volunteer sessions are being planned.
And we definitely plan on placing some lunch orders for the office very soon!