As part of a new nationwide initiative, Sistema Plastics is giving over 8,000 new entrants at more than 250 low decile schools a lunchbox and drink bottle to help combat the high number of students going without lunch.
The Sistema School Starter Programme also aims to encourage healthy, waste-free lunches, a standard already implemented at many schools across the country.
Drew Muirhead, Sistema Plastics CEO, says starting school for the first time can be an exciting but challenging time for children and their families.
“Statistics tell us one in four Kiwi kids are living in poverty and thousands of our most vulnerable are being sent to school without lunch every day. We want the Sistema School Starter Programme to have a positive impact by encouraging kids to eat healthy lunches.
“Sistema comes from humble beginnings in small town NZ and has grown into the global business we are today. We have a passion for driving the future of NZ and an important part of that is making sure the next generation is equipped with the basics to go on to succeed in life,” he says.
Catriona Chrystall, Principal at Ōtorohanga Primary School, says the programme will help take the pressure off many families across New Zealand.
“The majority of our tamariki come from a low socio-economic background. Providing these students with something awesome of their own, not only takes some pressure off their whanau but it also gives the tamariki something new and exciting to start their schooling journey with,” she says.
Karla Mitchell, Principal at Wellington Seventh-day Adventist School, says the cost of sending kids to school is rising and some parents are struggling.
“We have many families at our school here in Porirua who struggle to provide all the school supplies their children need. Lunchboxes are often substituted for plastic bags and sometimes nothing at all!
“It will be a lovely surprise for all of our new entrants, and we hope it helps spark a long-term approach to healthy eating, which is a priority at our school,” she says.
The Sistema School Starter Programme has committed to giving a free Sistema Lunch Cube Max lunch box, yoghurt pot, and drink bottle to more than 8,000 new entrant students at decile one and two schools across the country to date.
The lunch box has been specially designed with multiple compartments to keep ingredients separate, eliminating the need for disposable packaging or plastic wrap.
Decile one and two schools who would like to know more about the Sistema School Starter Programme can get in touch with the team via firstname.lastname@example.org.