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Food A Key To Learning

28 May 2004

Food A Key To Learning

“There are many schools which have to provide their students with a breakfast, so that those children can learn during their school day”, New Zealand First MP Brent Catchpole told Parliament today.

These comments were made today during the House sitting under urgency debating the Future Directions (Working for Families) Bill, which resulted from this week’s Budget.

“If children arrive at school with empty stomachs they are unable to concentrate, and will not learn”, he said.

Mr Catchpole was welcoming the budget’s move to put more money in the hands of low income families with children.

Mr Catchpole told Parliament that his main regret about the measures in the legislation was that needy children would have to wait too long for the desperately needed financial support to come.

“They desperately need it now,” he said.

“These children cannot keep going to school hungry. There is a huge flow on effect for improved learning”.

Mr Catchpole later expressed more concern about the flow on detrimental effects for society when children are hungry and do not learn.

“Too many become unemployable. Too many indulge in crime. Too many become a burden in their own community and far too many become part of the growing statistics evidencing failure,” concluded Mr Catchpole.

ENDS

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