The charity Kids Can says it needs about 3000 more sponsors to be able to help all of the schools it needs to.
Since last June, 1800 New Zealanders have signed up to pay $15 a month for a school child to be supplied with a raincoat, a pair of shoes, two pairs of socks and food at school for a year.
The charity says that has allowed it to work with 207 schools but half that number again are on its waiting list.
The charity says $100 million a year leaves New Zealand to support children overseas but there is poverty at home too, with malnourished children whose parents have to choose between medical treatment or food on the table.
It says the vast majority of parents care deeply about their children and are embarrassed they can not afford the basics.
Ms Helson says 100% of each donor's money goes to the child because expenses and wages are paid by a charitable trust.