Club set up to help feed stu­dents

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - By KRIS DANDO

Vic­to­ria Kay was first brought to tears by the tele­vi­sion doc­u­men­tary In­side Child Poverty, and then brought to ac­tion.

The Whitby mother-of-three and her hus­band Tim de­cided they needed to act af­ter watch­ing the pro­gramme, which fea­tured east­ern Porirua fam­i­lies when it aired on TV3 in Novem­ber.

Doc­u­men­tary- maker Bryan Bruce high­lighted how giv­ing chil­dren the right start to the day – through a hearty, nu­tri­tional break­fast – was key to im­prov­ing chil­dren’s learn­ing.

The Kays ap­proached both Holy Fam­ily and Rus­sell schools about how they could as­sist with their Break­fast In Schools pro­grammes.

Through Ms Kay’s ef­forts, and the gen­eros­ity of Har­vey Nor­man and other in­di­vid­u­als in the com­mu­nity, the two schools each have a new oven and fridge.

Ms Kay has also es­tab­lished a bank ac­count peo­ple can do­nate to for break­fast food.

Rus­sell prin­ci­pal Sose An­nan­dale says they need $70 to $100 a week to keep the daily break­fast pro­gramme go­ing, and is adamant it will not come from their con­stantlystretched teach­ing bud­get. It was a blow when the Red Cross pulled out of the pro­gramme at the end of term two this year but they are grate­ful to peo­ple and busi­nesses for help­ing them to keep chil­dren fed.

‘‘We got a con­sid­er­able amount [for the pantry] af­ter the doc­u­men­tary showed and that’s great.

‘‘But un­less peo­ple like Vicki help us, we won’t be able to con­tinue. Hers and oth­ers’ sup­port is just fan­tas­tic.’’

Ms Kay got a rous­ing re­cep­tion dur­ing a mu­sic re­hearsal the Rus­sell pupils were do­ing when she vis­ited on De­cem­ber 13.

She told Kapi-mana News, ‘‘I saw [ the doc­u­men­tary] on TV and thought ‘ I have to do some­thing’. I’m in Whitby but this [child poverty, no break­fasts] is hap­pen­ing right over the hill and it’s about hav­ing a so­cial con­science.

‘‘I dropped off a bunch of gro­ceries but want to do more – if all us and a few oth­ers do is put food in tum­mies, so the kids can con­cen­trate bet­ter in class, then I’m happy.’’

She and Tim are in the process of set­ting up a trust called The Break­fast Club, to en­sure the mo­men­tum is kept up in 2012.

They are putting out the chal­lenge to other Porirua – and Welling­ton – busi­nesses to ei­ther as­sist them or es­tab­lish their own way of help­ing low-decile schools in the city.

‘‘ Even if, over the sum­mer hol­i­days, peo­ple col­lect a few tins of food or boxes of ce­real, then that’s a great start for the first term next year.’’

For more in­for­ma­tion about how to do­nate, email Vic­to­ria at wgtnbreak­fast­club@gmail.com

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