More than 15,000 people walked, ran or wheeled across the finish line at yesterday's ASB Auckland Marathon, and ASB is converting this effort into hot lunches for children in need through KidsCan.
ASB head of community and sponsorship Mark Graham says ASB initially pledged a hot lunch for a child in need on behalf of every person who ran an extra 20 metres to cross the second ASB finish line, but says the decision was made to round this up to 20,000 hot lunches. These will be prepared and served by ASB volunteers and KidsCan at schools in the coming year.
"The ASB Auckland Marathon has a real history of giving back to the community. In fact, every year participants raise about $1 million for the various charities they are running for, which can make a real difference in the lives of everyday New Zealanders,” say Graham.
"As the newest KidsCan partner, we've seen first-hand the difference their organisation can make in the lives of younger Kiwis. We wanted to support their work and also do something on behalf of this year’s marathon participants to say thank you.
"15,000 hot lunches will make a difference, but 20,000 hot lunches is even better, so thank you to all of this year's ASB Auckland Marathon participants who are helping to make sure no child in New Zealand is hungry at school,” says Graham.
ASB became an official KidsCan partner earlier in the year, and has focused on supporting the charity’s hot lunches programme which was started in 2015.
KidsCan chief executive Julie Chapman says 20,000 additional hot lunches is significant to the programme.
"Every Kiwi kid deserves to go to school feeling warm, dry and full, and not having to worry about whether they will be able to have lunch or not. A hot meal shouldn’t be a luxury but for many, it is," Chapman says.
"Since we started the hot lunches programme, demand has continued to grow, and having an additional 20,000 hot lunches makes a huge difference to children in hardship. We'd like to thank all the runners and walkers who took those extra steps," says Chapman.
Now in its 27th year, the ASB Auckland Marathon was held on October 20.