Belinda Broughton, left, and mum, Sarah Broughton. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

CHELSEA BOYLE

chelsea.boyle@age.co.nz

A growing number of Wairarapa school children are tucking into Tuckabox lunches.

Belinda Broughton’s online business, Tuckabox, allows parents to pre-order wholesome, home-made lunches that are then delivered to school.

The business was launched in May at Opaki School but is now available in six Masterton schools.

In Term 4, it will also be available at South End School and Greytown School.

Miss Broughton said she always had plans for the business to grow.

Last term she was making 50 to 80 lunches a day and has added the option to book for lunches for a full term to make things easier for parents.

“They can order once and just forget about it,” she said.

“Some kids it suits better than others because some kids might not like some of the things some days, but the thing is they can just also write a note saying, ‘my kid doesn’t eat this’ or ‘my kid doesn’t eat that’.”

At the same time, the menu was pretty set so it was cost effective, she said.

Tuckabox is only available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays, so as not to detract from local fundraising initiatives.

“Often on a Friday schools have a sausage sizzle, or something like that, for fundraising.”

Feedback from parents and pupils alike had been positive.

“The kids really like receiving a bag, getting it, opening it and seeing what it is.

“The parents really like that there is not much rubbish.”

One of the main aims was to make the lunches as affordable as possible.

“We are trying to make it really easy for low incomes families to give their children food for one, and to give them healthy food.

“It saddens me how many families don’t give their kids food at lunch at school.

“Apparently, some parents don’t send their kids to school because they are so embarrassed that they haven’t got lunch.

“So, we are just trying to make it an affordable thing for families.”

She makes the lunches with the help of her mother Sarah Broughton, of Wairarapa catering business Broughton and Moore Catering.

Orders must be made by 8pm Sunday, and lunches can be ordered for Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday at a cost of $5.50, or $6.50 for a Mega Tuckabox, which includes two extra items.