Cadence Communications Communicating Sustainability Award
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.”