Interviews with stakeholders in deprived Hawke’s Bay schools early in the COVID-19 lockdown documented exacerbated food insecurity among school whānau. Our enquiry highlights the support role played by well-informed teacher aides and school–whānau networks, which were easily and inexpensively resourced, intuitive, proactive and collaborative, ensuring whānau access to appropriate support according to need. We expect our findings to further inform such initiatives in any further lockdown. Additionally, we posit that such school-based operations could become the nexus of a primary foodsecurity hub, alongside the Lunches in Schools programme, working in a tailor-made fashion bespoke to whānau without a charity or welfare label. Given the recent well-resourced COVID-19-related investment into the business world and the ongoing lack of progress in the reduction of child poverty, in the post-COVID-19-lockdown environment, simple structural rearrangements for the chronically food insecure are likely to become politically acceptable to the nation.