Providing affordable, wholesome lunches made fresh daily and delivered directly to workplaces and schools, Eat My lunch is now taking its business model to the capital. For lunch the company sells, another is also delivered to a child who might otherwise go hungry.
The social enterprise officially opens in Wellington on 17 October, based in premises supported by L’affare Café. The first schools to receive lunches will be Holy Cross School (Miramar) and Kahurangi, Strathmore Park.
Eat My Lunch founder Lisa King is certainly excited. “We have wanted to expand Eat My Lunch since day one and have received so many requests from Kiwis all around New Zealand to set up in their area,” she says. “Opening in Wellington will enable us to grow the business, give more lunches and have a Lower North Island hub that has the facilities to make both buy and give lunches.”
Since its inception in June 2015, Eat My Lunch has given over 262000 lunches to Kiwi kids in low-decile schools across Auckland and Hamilton. “The feedback we’ve had from schools receiving our Give lunches is incredible,” says King of the meals given to schools. “It changes the way teachers engage with kids. No longer is time taken up ensuring the kids are feed so they can learn, instead the focus is back on learning.”
About 29 percent of Kiwi kids live in poverty, and thousands go to school every day without lunch. King started Eat My Lunch with the help of award-winning chef Michael Meredith, as a way to help make a difference and create social change by providing lunches while also running a business.
There’s also an emphasis on fresh, wholesome foods as opposed to added sugar and other unhealthy ingredients, King says. “It’s all about variety and surprise!” she explains. “There are four elements per box and a different menu every day. In a time-poor world our subscription, delivery service is the ultimate in convenience, at the same time providing a solution for Kiwis who want to do good, but don’t know how.”
The expansion into the capital also comes at the same time Eat My Lunch has revamped its website. Launched this week, the site lets customers place orders up to 48 hours in advance.
To help get things off the ground in Wellington, Eat My Lunch is looking for volunteers to help make lunches. Over 2000 volunteers have assisted with making lunches in Auckland, some of them two or three times a week. “We were possibly naive for believing people would be passionate enough to help, but it’s been incredible to have so many great people giving their time,” says King. “We have a 2- 3 week waiting list to get into the kitchen in Auckland and hope that Wellingtonians will offer the same support.”