Caring, sharing mum challenges parents to make school lunches for other hungry kids

A Te Puke mother who makes a school lunch for her son and another for a needy schoolmate is challenging parents in other areas to do the same.

Tracey Wallace-Hutchins responded to Fairhaven School’s hungry kids problem with sensible simplicity. Source: Seven Sharp

Tracey Wallace-Hutchins is responding with what Seven Sharp called "sensible simplicity" to hunger in the classroom at Fairhaven School.

She said she makes one lunch for her son, Christian, and another for a hungry schoolmate "because we are worried there's a lot of families out there who are struggling, who don't have enough money to last the whole week".

Ms Wallace-Hutchins said it doesn't matter which child receives the lunch, all that matters is that they need it.

Thousands of children turn up to schools around the country with no food, no shoes and nothing warm to wear. 

The number of schools asking for help from KidsCan nationally has doubled in the last month to 32 schools and almost 4000 children waiting for help. 

You don't have to wait for the Government to tick a box. Just do it - Tracey Wallace-Hutchins, Te Puke parent

Fairhaven School is on the books with KidsCan, but the demand keeps growing.

The deputy principal said house rents are going up and the food budget is the first thing to go when people have bills to pay.

Other Fairhaven School parents have followed Ms Wallace-Hutchins' lead in providing an extra lunch, and she's challenging parents at other schools to follow suit.

"You don't have to wait for someone else, you don't have to wait for the Government to tick a box. Just do it. This little difference makes a big difference," she said.

Fairhaven teacher Tatai Takuira-Mita said she usually takes between four and six lunches every day for children who haven't had breakfast, and they're not shy to say they have no food.