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Project Muffin a winner

By Beckie Wilson

[email protected]

In three years, Greytown woman Louise Thompson and other mothers have made just shy of 9000 muffins for Wairarapa schools in an attempt to tackle child poverty in the region.

According to the latest Child Poverty Monitor report, 14 per cent of New Zealand children regularly go to school without essential needs.

Mrs Thompson began Project M in 2013 after talking to her neighbour who was a social worker at schools across Wairarapa..

“We were talking about poverty in New Zealand and how it was a real and happening thing in our region.

“She said even a muffin would help them [the children] get through the day,” Mrs Thompson said.

Mrs Thompson knew she was “capable of making a muffin”, and said there was no reason not to do it.

She got the ball rolling by gaining a lot of support from businesses and schools where principals could see the advantages.

Many local businesses throughout the region have donated ingredients.

“Even the postie, he delivers some muffins out to the country schools,” she said.

In 2013, Project M serviced South Wairarapa schools, with Masterton added to the mix in 2015.

Mrs Thompson is looking for more schools to come on board, as well as other communities.

Once a term, Mrs Thompson and volunteers from the community and parents have a bake-off making about 80 dozen muffins a term.

They then package and deliver the muffins the next day for the schools to put straight in the freezer.

The school staff are then able to give the children muffins as they please over the term.

“The muffins get used up every term,” she said.

“Every time I drop them off staff are so happy to receive them.

“I think people need to be more aware of the reality of child poverty.”

Mrs Thompson said anyone could help, whether it be by donating food such as fruit for the muffins, or their time.

“The thing I get most out of it is how many people are happy to come on board and help.”


  1. What a brilliant initiative that this lovely thoughtful lady has taken up. Well done to Louise Thompson for getting out there and doing something about an issue facing so many of our families in the Wairarapa.

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Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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