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Children speak out: please feed the kids!

Children speak out: please feed the kids!

Barnardos New Zealand supports the referral of the Feed the Kids Bill, which gets its first reading in Parliament this Wednesday (13 November), to Select Committee for debate.

Barnardos asked the children and young people who call their 0800 What’s Up counselling line how life for children in New Zealand/Aotearoa could be improved. Two of the most frequently cited ideas were for Government to provide for people who can’t afford healthy food, and for children to receive school fruit, lunches and milk. One child told us: /“I think that the Government actually needs to help out children and families and stuff at the moment, cos a lot of my friends and me are going through rough times at the moment.”

Some 265,000 Kiwi kids live in poverty, and an estimated 80,000 children go to school hungry each day. Last year, the Expert Advisory Group on Solutions to Child Poverty recommended the implementation of a nutrition strategy, including food in Decile 1-4 schools. Barnardos Chief Executive Jeff Sanders says, “We’re keen for the Bill to be supported to Select Committee so the issue can be open for further debate and public discussion. Barnardos acknowledges the steps that the Government have already taken to address the issue of hungry children, but it would be good to debate whether this is addressing the issue for all children who go to school hungry.”

There will be a special breakfast event to mark the occasion of the Bill’s first reading. *Breakfast event details – Wednesday 13 November* *8:30am**Parliament steps: * Karakia - Kura Moeahu; Mihimihi - Hone Harawira; Speakers: Tumuaki of Natone Park School, Porirua - Kiri Smith; senior student – TBA *8:50am Loaves and Fishes: * Seated breakfast for 100 school students, served by players from NZRU, supporters/volunteers, and senior students; Entertainment: Bella Kalolo, Merle Cassie, with Megan Alatini to MC *9:30am*** Event

ends *

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