From left: Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Wairarapa principal Pip Rimene said she was grateful to Chris Engel and Darcy Tilyard for the Kai in Schools programme. PHOTO/GIANINA SCHWANECKE

GIANINA SCHWANECKE
gianina.schwanecke@age.co.nz

A Wairarapa man has turned dozens of donated food products into 100 school lunches for children at Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Wairarapa in Masterton.

Chris Engel is a man on a mission.

After speaking with a friend who had 60 boxes from Henergy Eggs, he and his partner came up with the idea to take the eggs to a friend at Family Bakery in Porirua.

“We wanted to turn a raw product into something more,” he said.

Fifty sausage rolls, as many pies, and many muffins later, Kai in Schools was born, with the group deciding to donate the baked goods to a school as they felt there was a growing need.

He was impressed with how many businesses had already come on board, including Breadcraft and Pak’nSave Masterton.

A longstanding member of Tribal Nations Motorcycle Club, a social riding group focused on issues relating to mental health, abuse and poverty, he said it was important to give back.

“Our future is in our youth.”

Fellow Tribal Nations Motorcycle Club member Darcy Tilyard agreed.

“It’s a challenge for us.

“We’ve got to make sure we do it properly.

“If we can keep those cupboards full, we’ll be pretty happy.”

The group has enough food products to cater for the next three lunches but hoped to continue the programme in the long-term with more community support.

Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Wairarapa principal Pip Rimene said she was very appreciative of what the group was doing.

“Full tummies help with learning and concentration.”

She said the group chose to give out the lunches on Mondays as it was a good way for the children to start the week.

  • More information about the group can be found online at facebook.com/kidsarehungry/ or by emailing kai4schools@gmail.com