Meridian Energy has donated $1 million to KidsCan, matching the $1 million that generous kiwis have donated through the charity’s “19 for 19” COVID appeal.

Meridian Chief Executive Neal Barclay says, “KidsCan does truly amazing work for kiwi kids and once again they have stepped up to make sure that children and families living in poverty don’t go hungry during the COVID-19 lockdown.”

“KidsCan has already seen significant increase in the need for support amongst New Zealand communities through lockdown, and the forecasts of the impact of COVID-19 on demand for their services are huge, but their opportunities to do additional fundraising are almost non-existent. As their principal sponsor, we felt we needed to step in to help KidsCan continue to provide for kiwi communities and meet the increased need,” says Barclay.

KidsCan CEO Julie Chapman says “KidsCan feels so fortunate to have such a supportive and generous Principal Partner in Meridian. We know that this current situation is hardest on those who have the least, and demand for our support is growing. Meridian has shown their commitment to helping kiwi kids in hardship get a hand up, and the best chance at a good education, to help break the cycle of poverty.  We’re so grateful.

“We're already seeing a 28% increase in demand for food support this term, which means KidsCan will be trying to help feed an extra 10,000 children every day. Meridian's donation is a huge relief - but we need generous kiwis to keep supporting us too so we can meet this unprecedented need.”

KidsCan and Meridian have been working together since 2013. During that time Meridian has contributed nearly $2 million to help support the work KidsCan does in communities throughout New Zealand.

“We’ve been so impressed by the way KidsCan have stepped up to reach families in need during the lockdown period with volunteers going above and beyond. With the support from Meridian customers, we’re committed to help KidsCan keep providing lunches, shoes and rain jackets, so that kiwi kids can make the most of their education,” says Neal.

KidsCan provides targeted support for over 34,000 hungry kids in 787 schools and 55 early childcare centres around the country every day. This term that number will rise to 44,000 - a number only predicted to grow as the economic impact of the pandemic hits. The charity also provides shoes, socks and jackets to children who would otherwise arrive at school wet and cold and offers a variety of health and hygiene items. 

ENDS

 

For further information please contact:

Meridian Energy Media Team
MediaTeam@meridianenergy.co.nz 
0800 948 843