ORGANISATION WIDE SUPPORT FOR ‘LUNCH BOX’ APPEAL FROM WAIKATO DHB
A campaign in support of the popular “Lunch Box” day tomorrow (Friday 5 September) not only has the support of Waikato DHB’s Māori Health service Te Puna Oranga, but also staff in Waikato Hospital’s operating theatre.
A $3 donation can be made by texting LUNCH to 2448, with 100 per cent of proceeds going to the KidsCan Charitable Trust.
Te Puna Oranga’s Project 270 supports the KidsCan Food in Schools programme. Project 270 seeks to highlight the plight of over 270,000 Kiwi children who live below the poverty line in Aotearoa/ New Zealand.
Te Puna Oranga has been working to raise funds to support KidsCan food in schools programme as part of the initiative.
The inaugural fundraiser held in 2012, saw generous Kiwis donate over $500,000 to provide lunches at school for children living in poverty.
Te Puna Oranga general manager Ditre Tamatea said it was both sad and somewhat bizarre that in New Zealand, a country which exports food as the food basket to the world, families can’t afford to provide regular food for their children.
“Certainly many of these children come from families who are welfare dependent, however increasingly many families who work but are on a low income would fall into the category of being below the poverty line. These families are the new working poor.”
Other Waikato DHB staff are also supporting the appeal. Clinical nurse co-ordinator Joanne Knapp is looking to gather donations from staff in the operating theatre and supporting departments including the post anaesthetic care unit, sterile supply department and theatre inventory services.
She and Mr Tamatea want other Waikato DHB staff and the greater Waikato community to make a $3 donation.
KidsCan now provides food at school for 12,500 children a week and this year’s 'Lunch Box' day will enable the charity to do even more.
Funds raised will be used to provide hot lunches for children and to expand the programme to reach schools that are currently waiting for assistance. KidsCan orchards will also be established in schools to provide a long-term sustainable source of fruit and a valuable learning opportunity for students.
“We are keen to support KidsCan in its lunch box campaign, texting a $3 donation will do little harm to our back pockets but will do a world of good to help feed hungry kiwi kids right here in our own country and right here in the Waikato,” said Mr Tamatea.
“If we feed hungry kids they can concentrate better at school and are more likely to attain educational success if they are hungry and can’t concentrate. Some families have been holding their kids back at home rather than send them to school hungry/”
With Te Puna Oranga’s support, KidsCan’s inspirational work has seen the programme extended to 50 schools across the Waikato.
KidsCan chief executive Julie Chapman said the programme had been running for more than eight years.
“We know that hungry children, and children eating poorly, don’t achieve as successfully at school and in life as those eating healthily and well. Food insecurity is a daily reality for the thousands of children we support and it’s not their fault. When we put food into a school incredible things happen because the children are no longer hungry. Fighting and bullying stops, learning ability and attendance increases and children feel valued and care for.”
Campbell Live has looked at the issue of child hunger and poverty in New Zealand throughout this week and how KidsCan is making a real difference. Tomorrow they will run a special 'Lunch Box' day programme.