In 2012 we started the Winter Boost Programme which provided hot, nutritious lunches to every child in our decile 1 & 2 primary schools in Auckland. This gave vulnerable children a lift during the colder months, a time when our kids are most vulnerable and when school absences are high.
Children enjoyed a winter boost lunch of a yummy variety of soups, stews and casseroles served with bread rolls 2-3 times a week.
Each year we were expanding into other schools and at least doubled the number of hot meals provided, to reach a total of 235,000 lunches over 5 years!
We worked with decile 1 & 2 schools to reach children in those neighborhoods most in need.
It was important to us that every child in our schools could access a warm, hearty lunch. Everyone ate together and nobody stood out as being different.
We targeted young primary school kids – at a stage where they are most dependent and where nutrition is especially important to their long-term development.
Our kids deserve the best quality food on offer to make the biggest impact on their nutritional health. And, with the help of Massey University, we were continually improving the nutrition of our lunch meals.
This programme was discontinued in 2018. Our school lunch focus is now on advocating for a government-funded school lunch programme, based on our experience and learning over our years of implementing this programme.
Young people from disadvantaged circumstances often have fewer opportunities for employment experience, which is an important stepping stone in developing confidence and core skills to succeed in the workplace.
We offered youth in alternative education a paid employment opportunity to help them develop confidence and transferable skills at Feed the Need's kitchen. With coaching and support in a warm and positive environment, we were able to help them to recognise their strengths and develop those key skills and attributes that will appeal to future employers.
Supported by their educational provider we conducted 'friendly' interviews and selected those who were not only hungry for a chance to develop but who we thought would benefit most from an opportunity like this.
Selected applicants were employed as Kitchen Hands over 4 weeks and coached in a supportive environment to develop specific skills and attributes. Post-placement, the students received ongoing support and career guidance from their education provider.