Kiwis obsession with hot cross buns will help KidsCan feed more preschoolers in need

As Kiwis munch their way through millions of hot cross buns this Easter, they’ll be helping our littlest New Zealanders in need, with a portion of sales of the popular Easter treat being donated to KidsCan’s early childhood education programme.

In the last year KidsCan has expanded the programme to support 4,400 children in 110 centres with fresh, healthy lunches every day, but with the number of preschoolers arriving hungry on the increase, KidsCan needs all the help it can get to fill hungry tummies. There are currently 3,600 vulnerable children in 108 centres waiting for help.

KidsCan CEO and founder, Julie Chapman, says that the hot cross bun donation of around $100,000 will be critical in supporting the early childhood education programme in 2021. 

“As families struggle to make ends meet, it’s often food that is sacrificed. By providing our youngest tamariki with nutritious meals each day, we not only are able to help ensure they can engage more in learning, but we can also make life easier for struggling families.”  

Steve Mills, Countdown’s General Manager Merchandise, says hot cross buns start flying off the shelves in early January, but the bulk of KidsCan donations will come from hot cross buns sold in the lead up to Easter. 

“Hot cross buns have been incredibly popular this year and we’ve already sold more than last year, which is fantastic news for our fundraising efforts for KidsCan.

“As well as the traditional raisin buns, we also have chocolate buns, mini and fruitless buns, new favourites like hot cross brioche and fruitless brioche, and this year we’re introducing a new flavour, hot cross bun mocha,” says Steve Mills. “It will be interesting to see how Kiwis will react to the additional flavours.” 

Countdown’s bakers all over the country are honing their baking skills in preparation for the Easter lead up and they anticipate that Kiwis’ demand for hot cross buns will see them churn through more than 600,000kgs of South Island grown and milled flour, 50,000kgs of sultanas, 80,000kgs of currents, and 12,000kgs of chocolate chips.

5c from every pack of hot cross buns sold is donated to KidsCan.


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