WATCH: Belinda Henley talks to Eat My Lunch CEO Lisa King about how coronavirus has forced her business to change direction overnight.

Normally, social entrepreneur Lisa King is overseeing a busy kitchen turning out pre-made lunches for corporates and hungry school kids.

During lockdown, she is directing the delivery of hundreds of boxes of fresh fruit and vegetables to homes of those kids.

Eat My Lunch’s business model was based on companies buying lunches made by volunteers. Most of the revenue went into providing free lunches for school pupils in lower socio-economic areas.

“Within a week, our sales dropped by pretty much 90 percent. We went from making thousands of lunches to, on our worst day, about 20.

King says delivering boxes of fresh produce to the homes of 2,000 kids is complex and logistically challenging but it has unexpectedly provided her with an opportunity to do something she has always thought about.


“Through all the years we’ve been doing it [making school lunches] the niggly part for me has been wanting to introduce an educational element to the kids – to get them to learn about food, to make it themselves and that never felt possible to do it at school, in that school environment.

“Now that we are delivering food to their homes, and it has to last them a week, it actually provides an opportunity for us to teach them how to make their own lunches, what goes into a healthy lunch and getting creative with ingredients….this is something that could have a long lasting impact in the home.”

King has found the lockdown to have positives – personally and professionally.

She says it has forced her to think differently about her business and pushed her out of her comfort zone. And she has enjoyed the change of pace the lockdown has bought to her family bubble in Grey Lynn.

“Being at home and having to slow down a little bit …it’s actually been really nice to see the kids slowing down and being okay with being bored rather than being ‘on’ and having to be entertained all the time.”

Belinda Henley (twitter: @HenleyBelinda) is a freelance broadcast journalist and producer based in Hawkes Bay

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