We started out in 40 low decile schools, providing raincoats and snacks, packed, and sent from my home. Now we have a warehouse literally packed to the rafters with supplies for more than 850 schools nationwide: breakfast food, snacks, hot lunches, jackets, solid shoes, head lice treatment, hand sanitiser, tissues and more.
Vulnerable children are bearing the brunt of the cost-of-living crisis, with teachers in schools and early childhood centres supported by KidsCan reporting increasing concerns for their wellbeing. The charity has seen a spike in applications for help, with more than two thousand children on its waitlist. It has launched an urgent appeal to help feed children as winter hits.
“It’s clear how much this food means,” says Malan, the Assistant Principal at Haeata Community Campus, a decile 1 school in Christchurch. “We see a real difference in focus when our students are full.”
Last week a teacher at one of our partner schools wiped away tears as she told us what her students are dealing with. Kids coming to breakfast club who haven’t eaten the night before.
Help from charities like KidsCan have taken some of the tough choices away from our kids. We used to have siblings missing school because it “wasn’t their turn” to wear the only pair of shoes.