Dear NZ – can we care about hungry children now they are middle class?



When it was poor brown kids starving, we couldn’t allow MANA’s ‘Feed the Kids’ Bill to pass because Hone Harawira didn’t beg nicely enough for it. Let’s hope now it’s middle class kids going hungry that muddle Nu Zilind might give a damn…

Hunger hits middle-class students too
School staff are dipping into their own pockets to feed teenagers at a middle-class Auckland college, as growing numbers of students turn up hungry.

The situation echoes survey findings from last year pointing to growing poverty in mid-decile schools.

Rutherford College principal Gary Moore has appealed to programme Eat My Lunch for help, and food from cooking classes is used to fill empty stomachs. He and up to 20 of his staff also fork out daily to buy food or replace kids’ poor-quality lunches, which include pies and soft drinks.

Mr Moore spends an average of $10 a week at the 1300-pupil decile 5 secondary school. Total contributions from teachers and other staff amount to about $8000 a year.

“Staff will dip into their pockets for the kids because we want them to succeed,” Mr Moore said. “It can be a balancing act.”

The public perception that only kids at low-decile schools went without food was wrong, he said.

…the only people benefiting from a property bubble is a Government desperate to manufacture GDP growth and speculators. Everyone else’s wages are going backwards in real terms. The new future of work is upon us now and the middle class is the new casualty.

When it was poor brown kids, Muddle Nu Zilind screamed it was the parents fault. Now it’s the white middle classes, notice how quiet those voices have become.

A Universal Basic Income could go somewhere to repairing this damage. It’s good to see the Taxpayers Union so frightened by the idea. If arseholes like the Taxpayers Union are against it, it must be worthwhile.

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  1. If it doesn’t directly affect them, or they don’t directly see it, they’ll believe it doesn’t exist.

    As long as property prices keep going up they’ll be happy. They’ll keep increasing the mortgage, to put in a flash new kitchen or buy a jetski or another Audi…. believing they’re richer when actually they’re just over leveraged and more in debt.

    But they feel rich. And satisfied. So they just don’t seem to care.

    Only when it directly hits them will they care. But then, probably only about themselves anyway.

    Ugh. I just don’t have much faith in my fellow citizens unfortunately. I see too much greed.

    • You’re not alone, believe me. Sometimes I don’t even want to glance at the news because it’s just too depressing.

    • I just can’t wait to get to bail them out when the Auckland property Ponzi scheme goes to shit. Oh wait, that’s NOT what I want to do. But that is what’s going to happen – those that aren’t leveraged to hilt will have to come to the rescue of those that are, because reasons. The best financial advice you can give these days is to borrow and spend like there’s no tomorrow. You’re going to get cleaned out regardless, so it’s better to have nothing (or less than nothing, i.e. debt) in the first place.

      • I’m not so sure that the public has an appetite for bail outs like we did last time.

        I was pretty pissed to see those who had taken the risk investing money for a higher return, expected their risk to be socialised and the government to “do something” to “get our money back” when it all went pear shaped.

        Bail outs didn’t work to fix the underlying problems. Pretty sure the next calamity will prove that. So I suspect appetite for bail outs will not the the same as last time.

      • the middle class are drowning in debt the household debt figures are are a real shocker
        i cant see how there ever going to pay the money back i totally agree with you Nitrium its going to be carnage and just you like mate i don’t want to bail them out i don’t mind feeding the kids black brown or poke doted but i don’t want to bailout the greedy stupid and foolish we are already bailing them out with record low interest rates anyone who is a saver is being screwed over.

    • The fact we have hungery children and entrenched poverty and a debt laden middle class and obscene wealth enjoyed by our most successful citizens and constant unemployment and appallingly low wages shows how well the neo liberal policy mix is working against real New Zealanders and how much they have been had by successive National governments none more so than the current money trader from Merryl Lynch John Key overseeing one of the biggest political con jobs in NZ history. And it’s not over yet.

  2. Lots of those ‘middle class’ families will not be getting the full inflation and wage adjusted support from Working for Families they need. Bill English is relentlessly squeezing the scheme over time. Many are repaying student loans getting less help over time from the accommodation supplement and tax credits. No wonder they struggle.
    Working for Families does not work for ALL families. We want Government to Fix Working for Families, so that it is FAIR. #FWFF

  3. People are feeling the squeeze alright…the government is forgetting the basics – food, water, shelter.

  4. It may be the result of that stupid and terribly implemented corporate welfare package called WFF keeping salary and wage growth down.

    • I’m rather suss about WFF as well. Especially the way that they don’t have anyone on their arse all the time, while receiving their handout, in the way that beneficiaries do. As far as I’m aware, WFF is just something extra you get every week without having to have a caseworker, a file, a benefit dependant obligation to do something or other, occasional “slip ups” in underpayment etc. And it seems from the “pay scale” page that many WFF recipients receive more than some benefit payments, which are the sole income of the beneficiary, every week. No one is shaming them, no one tells them to “get a job”, obviously, or routinely makes other derogatory comments about their “top up”, yet they’re beneficiaries who have a full wage as well, without the crap aspects of being on a “benny”. They’re legitimate bennys, the benny-alone bennys are the illegitimate “useless eaters” of society, etc, etc.

  5. “to buy food or replace kids’ poor-quality lunches, which include pies and soft drinks.”

    School kids eating pies and soft drinks. It’s still lazy parenting, isn’t it? For the cost of a pie and soft drink, a wholesome lunch could be provided.

    • SCHWEN: You hit the nail on the head!
      The real issue here (as opposed to a phantom one dreamed up by opposition parties) is lazy and incompetent parenting.

      Sure, if you provide food for kids in decile 5 schools most of the kids will eat it, but that doesn’t mean their parents cannot afford to feed them.

      When I was a primary school kid in the 1950’s we all got free milk. Meanwhile my family got free milk & cheese from the dairy factory where my father worked.

      • Schwen and Andrew, once again you’re resorting to victim-blaming. Get your heads out of the sand and understand that good food is often more expensive than junk food.

        The price of coca cola in a 2.25L bottle as opposed to a 2L bottle of milk is a prime example.

        Until you two and others of your ilk stoop blaming the victims of neo-liberalism, these problems will perpetuate.

        • Now, now, Jane. Don’t go injecting fact and reality into their ideological delusions. You’ll give them nightmares.

          “Andrew Little’s coming… and Socialism… and the Maoris… and the equal distribution of wealth… he’s undoing deregulation… lowering property values… restructuring the tax system… no, Mother, help me…”

        • JANE B

          Sure, and a one pound bag of quick oats costs $2 – enough to feed a child for 1-2 weeks depending on age.

          Watch these overweight scum send their kids to school hungry and then figure out where the money went!

      • So you would deny the perks you got as a youngster to today’s youngsters.
        So hypocritical, so National, so John Key.

  6. Once upon a time, in the long ago – for kids to have a pie, or a filled roll, or even a raspberry bun for lunch was a treat once a week.

    More to the point – if the standard of meat pies is now such that they rate as ‘poor quality’ – get it fixed. A decent amount of meat. An edible pastry free from cheap fillers. Enough energy to survive to hometime.

    And people who witter on about $2 bags of rolled oats. Well. Yeah – plus the milk and (gasp) a sprinkle of sugar or jam or (oh the horror!) traditional salt, all adds to the cost. Plus cooking and clean-up thereafter. And the quality of the oats is such that you’re starving by morning tea time.

    Instead of simply focusing on ‘breakfast’ thought also needs to be given to that mid morning break where kids who’ve had to scamper to get to school can catch a sustaining snack. Not fruit, Dear Purists. School bins capture many barely touched apples or oranges. Something a kid can cram in before bolting off to play – because play comes first.

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