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Feed the kids – it’s as simple as that

1 May 2013

Feed the kids – it’s as simple as that

Feed the kids - it’s a simple idea that will have a positive impact for the most vulnerable children in the Waikato and nationally. This is the view of Poverty Action Waikato and Anglican Action regarding the popularly called ‘Feed the Kids’ Bill scheduled to make its way through parliament this year.

“The ‘Feed the Kids’ Bill will ensure that our most vulnerable children get the food that they need - what could be simpler and more important?” says Anna Cox, Researcher, Poverty Action Waikato.

Poverty Action Waikato and Anglican Action are joining with more than 20 local and national organizations in the Community Campaign for Food in Schools. One of the campaign goals is to support the Education (Breakfast and Lunch in Schools) Amendment Bill, commonly referred to as the ‘Feed the Kids’ Bill.

A Poverty Action Waikato report investigating food in schools in the Waikato last year identified that across the decile 1 and 2 schools in the Waikato approximately 25% of children were coming to school with some degree of food need.

“There are many ways to address the need for food in schools. Government backing will ensure the sustainability of any approach. In our research we heard of many Waikato schools struggling to find people to facilitate their food programmes. This bill will help ensure that schools have the administrative support that they need for responding to this issue.” Anna Cox says.

The Education (Breakfast and Lunch in Schools) Amendment Bill is scheduled for its first reading in early June. The bill proposes providing breakfast and lunch to all decile 1 and 2 schools (80,000 children) in the initial stages then evaluating and considering the options for the most effective way of delivering an extended programme.

A significant number of reputable organizations including, UNICEF, Save the Children, Child Poverty Action Group, the Salvation Army, Plunket, Women’s Refuge and Waikato based Poverty Action Waikato and Anglican Action, are campaigning together to support the Education (Breakfast and Lunch in Schools) Amendment Bill. Karen Morrison-Hume, Missioner from Anglican Action says:

“Through this bill, we have an opportunity to secure food for children who are growing up in the most deprived conditions. Feeding children in lower decile schools supports communities who are suffering from unemployment, unaffordable housing and high food costs. If passed, this bill will improve the security of our most vulnerable children. The ‘Feed the Kids’ Bill has our full support.”

ENDS

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