Flying high to help children eat up
2 July 2019 at 3:59 pm
Around 10,000 hungry Australian children are set to receive free school lunches thanks to a collaboration between Jetstar and a Melbourne food charity.
Grassroots program Eat Up is the latest recipient of Jetstar’s Flying Start grant, made up of $15,000 in Jetstar flights and $15,000 cash.
Eat Up helps feed children – often from low socioeconomic backgrounds and migrant families – who come to school without lunch.
The charity has made and delivered more than 550,000 lunches to schools around metropolitan Victoria, Queensland, and New South Wales, and will use the grant to expand into rural areas.
Eat Up founder Lyndon Galea said missing meals could have a major impact on a child’s health and was more prevalent in Australia than people thought.
“Almost 22 per cent of Australians are food insecure and one in five children turns up to school hungry, which can lead to fatigue, chronic illness, poor learning outcomes, bullying and missed days of school. Eat Up’s mission is to feed these students so they can grow, learn, and succeed,” Galea said.
“Children missing lunch is a national concern and we’ve made it our ambition to have an Australia-wide presence.
“Jetstar’s Flying Start Program grant is a massive boost in making this possible and we’ll now be able to deliver an additional 115,000 lunches to vulnerable kids in rural areas in the next 12 months, as well as ramp up our existing metropolitan services.”
Jetstar’s head of group operations and Flying Start judge, Kate Cotter, said the judging panel was thrilled to support Eat Up and create a far-reaching community impact.
She said the grant will benefit around 10,000 Australian children.
“The Jetstar flight component will provide travel for Eat Up staff to enrol an additional 370 schools across the country and feed more hungry children and teenagers than had previously been possible,” Cotter said.
“The cash component will be used to fit out a delivery van with refrigeration so that fresh lunches can be delivered to over 130 schools.”