KidsCan has come up with an initiative to turn 19 into a number with positive connotations by starting the Give19 appeal.
The charitable trust started the appeal after teachers in rural areas expressed concerns about students and how they were going to cope from a food and security perspective at home.
Schools were asked what would work best for them, resulting in the idea to deliver food packages to the most vulnerable families.
The KidsCan warehouse has since been repurposed into a makeshift supermarket, with each person packing having their own aisle of products.
The 40kg packages were then distributed to the families' homes, with safety precautions to avoid the risk of COVID-19.
The food parcels are worth about $200 each, however with the help of suppliers including Countdown, Tip Top bread and Ecostore the charity was able to make savings.
Each parcel provides food and essential items to help a household of five for two weeks, including 3kg of rice, 3kg of pasta, pasta sauce, bread, heat and eat meals, fruit cups, baked beans, peanut butter, muesli bars, fruit salad, tissues, hand wash - and even Easter eggs.
KidsCan CEO Julie Chapman said $19 provided the rice, pasta and pasta sauces, about one-fifth of the box.
“We thought $19 would be an affordable number for most people to donate and wanted to show that the number 19 could still do something good.”
So far 3,300 boxes have been sent out to kids in need.
The charity distributes boxes to decile one and two schools in Northland, Waikato, the Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki, and Manawatū.
Chapman said when schools did return there would be an additional 10,000 children a day requiring food support.
“This is a 30% increase on the previous number of around 34,000.
"It is a challenge but we want to raise to it and make sure these kids don’t go hungry.”
You can donate to the Give19 appeal at www.19for19.co.nz