Ca­dence Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mu­ni­cat­ing Sus­tain­abil­ity Award

Element - - Sustainable Businesses -

Win­ner: Eat My Lunch: cre­at­ing a so­cial move­ment through so­cial me­dia

Eat My Lunch is a sim­ple con­cept with a big im­pact. For ev­ery lunch bought, the com­pany gives one to a Kiwi kid who would oth­er­wise go hun­gry.

Award-win­ning chef Michael Mered­ith and his part­ner Lisa King started Eat My Lunch in June 2015 in re­sponse to the shock­ing amount of poverty they saw in New Zealand. In the first 20 weeks they made over 100,000 lunches in their home kitchen.

“We were look­ing to do some­thing pur­pose­ful with our ca­reers,” says King, who was pre­vi­ously work­ing in mar­ket­ing. “I was pro­mot­ing foods that I didn’t even let my own kids eat, and I wanted to do some­thing bet­ter.”

Eat My Lunch de­liv­ers a lunch with a range of foods in fully re­cy­clable pack­ag­ing. And for each lunch or­dered, one is also de­liv­ered to a low-decile Auck­land school.

Eat My Lunch has seen ex­po­nen­tial growth since its launch, which King at­tributes to the na­ture of the so­cial en­ter­prise and to Kiwi gen­eros­ity. The com­pany has re­ceived mas­sive amounts of sup­port from the com­mu­nity with dozens of vol­un­teers offering their time to help pre­pare and de­liver lunches.

“New Zealan­ders want to do some­thing to help, but they don’t know how,” says King. “Eat My Lunch is so sim­ple. The im­pact is tan­gi­ble, and it doesn’t re­quire much.”

With a suc­cess­ful PledgeMe cam­paign, the com­pany raised over $130,000, which will go to­wards a com­mer­cial space to fa­cil­i­tate its growth. The com­pany just launched a Give Two sub­scrip­tion which al­lows cus­tomers to give two lunches if they don’t want one for them­selves.

Eat My Lunch is also work­ing to elim­i­nate food waste by part­ner­ing with man­u­fac­tur­ers who pro­vide prod­ucts that would oth­er­wise be tossed at the end of their shelf life, even though they still have ten days un­til ex­pir­ing.

Eat My Lunch hopes to ex­pand to other cities in com­ing years, and the next dream on the hori­zon for King and Mered­ith is to open a cook­ing school for un­der­priv­i­leged kids.

“This is some­thing very close to Michael’s heart,” says King. “At its core, we want to do good and help kids.”

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