A new social enterprise has seen nearly 50 school lunches sold in the first four days, making the healthy choice the easy choice for parents and students at a West Auckland school.

Developed in collaboration with Healthy Families Waitākere, Lincoln Heights School and Our City Church, School Eats provides nutritious lunches to Lincoln Heights students, priced at only $5 each. The enterprise is currently in its testing phase with the lunches available for term one, with the notion of becoming a preferred choice for Lincoln Heights parents.

“School Eats was created to provide healthier, affordable lunches to schools in West Auckland, with a price-point to match that of readily available unhealthy options which surround the school, says Healthy Families Waitākere Manager, Kerry Allan.

A proliferation of dairies and bakeries around schools in West Auckland offer convenience and affordability to students, making unhealthy options highly accessible. The collaborative mission is to bring the healthy choice to schools that was convenient and affordable. She continues,

“To understand what students wanted in the lunches, we hosted a workshop and discussed the importance of nutrition and leading a healthy lifestyle. Students shared insights from friends and whānau, which were incorporated into the final product to ensure it was fulfilling and packed with nutritional food groups to keep them focussed during schools time.”

Lincoln Heights Associate Principal Toby Kite says the workshop was a great opportunity for student leaders to apply the learning about healthy eating to better the school community.

“The group investigated lunch packs available in the community before designing their own healthy alternative," he says. "We are so proud to see our students applying their class learning to develop healthy products which meet the needs of the community."

Lunches are hand-made each morning and delivered to Lincoln Heights. Parents can order via the schools website, with the option to pre-order the lunches in advance for added convenience.

“After the first term we will evaluate the prototype to understand its effectiveness and feasibility, early indicators suggest this is going to make a positive impact on tamariki with a number of enquiries from surrounding schools and small businesses.”