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Schools waiting for KidsCan help soars

28th July 2008

Number of schools on waiting for KidsCan help soars to 100

Children's charity KidsCan is overwhelmed with requests to provide food and clothing for children in low decile schools who are missing out on the basics. The continuing economic downturn has meant that more and more children face serious hunger levels and deprivation comparable with third world nations as low income families struggle to make ends meet.

KidsCan General Manager, Julie Helson says "Every child has the human right to food, clothing and a standard of living adequate for their health and well-being. Thousands of Kiwi kids are missing out on this right. We are simply unable to keep up with the demand from schools that desperately need our help. We have reached a crisis point in this country and immediate action is needed. We currently provide raincoats, shoes and food for children in 91 schools and our waiting list has now reached 100 schools which equates to 20,000 Kiwi Kids.

The Trust has the systems and processes in place to meet the needs of the children waiting for support but needs around 1.5 million dollars in funding to do so". Julie Helson, who was recently honoured as an Emerging Business Leader in the Sir Peter Blake Business Leadership Awards continues "It is time for the government to step up to meet the immediate need so that no child in New Zealand goes to school hungry and without the basics. Then they can work on dealing with the underlying social issues that cause poverty."

Since KidsCan was started in August 2005, 24,000 adidas All Blacks branded raincoats 3,000 pairs of shoes and 6,000 pairs of socks have been distributed through it's 'Raincoats for Kids' and 'Shoes for Kids' programmes. The discreet 'Food for Kids' programme provides 240,000 meals a year to children who go to school on an empty stomach due to financial circumstances at home.

Research from Massey University has shown that KidsCans programmes help improve academic ability and boost self esteem among disadvantaged kids. Absenteeism falls as a result of the raincoats and shoes, and full stomachs increase a child's ability to learn and improve behavior issues caused by hunger.

KidsCan is the official charity partner of the All Blacks and the NZRU.


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