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School Principals Support Food in Schools Bill

School Principals Support Food in Schools Bill

It is now a well-established fact that that at least 200,000 children in New Zealand are living below the poverty line. The upshot of this is that these children start the day without an adequate breakfast.

‘The solution to child hunger must centre on the needs of the children presenting in our schools every day,’ said Philip Harding, President of the New Zealand Principals’ Federation. ‘The lack of food at the start of the day is a major barrier to children’s learning, social progress and development. This situation impacts not only on these children as individuals but on their peers and their teachers,’ he said.

There are many schools that currently have a range of sponsored food programmes such as Breakfast in Schools, Fruit in Schools and Lunches in Schools.

‘We urge all school principals who wish to be part of an equitable society to support the ‘Food in schools’ amendment bill for all children attending decile one to three schools,’ says Harding.

‘It is our duty to act in accordance with the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child and we must act now,’ he said. ‘Interventions that will ensure every child in New Zealand will be adequately fed and ready to learn at school must be sustainable and be funded appropriately.’

NZPF recommends that governmental agencies provide substantial breakfast meals, including daily protein, to all low decile schools and resources a paid worker to co-ordinate the programme in each school.

ENDS

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