Ur­gent ac­tion on free food

Waipa Post - - News -

A re­port show­ing one in five New Zealand chil­dren don’t have enough food should prompt ur­gent ac­tion to roll out a na­tional strat­egy for free food in schools, Green Party Coleader Marama David­son says.

“The Green Party has long-cham­pi­oned food in schools and we cur­rently have a mem­ber’s bill in the bal­lot to es­tab­lish a Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion fund for schools to ap­ply to — or opt out of — based on need.

“El­i­gi­ble schools would work with their com­mu­nity and ex­ist­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions to make food avail­able to chil­dren in the way that best suits their com­mu­nity.

“I’m re­ally proud of our work in Gov­ern­ment to put the heart back into the so­cial sup­port sys­tem. We are work­ing closely with Gov­ern­ment to look at changes to our so­cial sup­port sys­tem that will en­sure vul­ner­a­ble New Zealan­ders have more sup­port and can live with dig­nity and put food on the ta­ble.

“In say­ing this, right now kids are go­ing hun­gry, and we know guar­an­tee­ing them food each day is likely to quickly im­prove out­comes.

“Guar­an­teed food at school would en­sure atrisk kids are health­ier and more able to fo­cus in class.

“This work, com­bined with the Child Poverty Bill, will be crit­i­cal to gen­uinely re­duc­ing poverty in New Zealand.”

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