Helping KidsCan Feed Kiwi Kids
Each term KidsCan provides its Corporate Partners with an opportunity to volunteer their time, by helping with picking and packing food items to send to KidsCan partner schools and Early Childhood Education Centres (ECEs) across New Zealand.
This wasn’t just a typical activity to send some staff along and tick a box for our sponsorship objectives, this was hard graft, good fun and one of the best team-building experiences I’ve ever been a part of.
Our team of six (Sam Saunders, Madi Johnson, Will Blaschke, Natasha Rivai, Gina Bourke and myself) joined the distribution event for Term 3 in 2021. Arriving at the KidsCan warehouse in Albany, our team was amped and ready to roll up our sleeves and do whatever we were tasked with. After a thorough health and safety briefing, we were split into groups and let loose to get the job done.
Pulling on our Tetris skills, we stacked pallet after pallet. Products ranged from boxes of canned fruit, baked beans, Easi-Yo yoghurt, muesli bars, vegemite, peanut butter and heat and eat meals. Each person shared responsibility for moving boxes of products, guiding the placement on the pallets so the weight balance was right, and securing the products for safe transportation.
One of my favourite moments of the day was when the team from Meridian Energy arrived, and rather than separate into two groups of our company brand, their team just split up and joined our teams to keep going. This showed a real friendly spirit and initiative to work together no matter where we were from.
Coming away from this volunteering experience, I got a better understanding of the scope of how KidsCan supports Kiwi kids in schools, and how they really step up to do whatever they can. They do much more than just sending out the raincoats that we often hear about. New Zealand schools and ECE’s clearly need much more support than the Government Lunch Programme, Ka Ora, Ka Ako, is providing. It is great to see KidsCan is helping to provide this additional support.
On top of seeing how our funding is making a difference to the lives of Kiwi kids in New Zealand, it was great to share this experience with my colleagues and get to know them a little better too.
KidsCan has advised that the support of their partners both financially and through volunteering, has significantly contributed to them being able to send over 110,000 servings of hot meals, 380,000 muesli bars and 370,000 fruit pottles to KidsCan partner schools and ECEs.
"I just believe that in our community we deserve something a little bit better for our children. This is where it all starts. I believe if we’re feeding our children here then it feeds their minds and gets them prepared for where we want them to go.
I just want to thank KidsCan. I didn’t think that would make a change in them so quickly. They are a lot more settled - when you have a full puku you’re happy and able to engage. They sleep well and they play well. I’m so thankful." - KidsCan Partner ECE teacher.