Club set up to help feed students
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 email@example.com