Feed the Kids 2021

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Jacinda Ardern won’t commit to making free lunches universal – despite clear evidence it works to keep kids in school

One in five children in New Zealand live in homes that struggle to put good quality food on the table – and for Māori children, it’s one in four.

While the Government is trying to combat the issue with its healthy lunch program Ka Ora Ka Ako, only a quarter of schools are targeted.

My greatest political regret was that MANA wasn’t able to get the Feed the Kids Bill though (thanks to Peter Dunne who was prepared to sell his vote to John Key for mass surveillance but not grant Feed The Kids a 3rd reading).

Feeding every kid a free nutritious Breakfast and Lunch would be the single greatest means to lift educational achievement than any other educational policy.

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It would directly remove a huge weekly cost to the poorest amongst us, would greatly reduce truancy and would build life long positive ends to education.

Unfortunately Feed The Kids failed because a large swath of NZ believes feeding hungry children a nutritious breakfast and lunch at school lets the parents off the hook and they would prefer children go hungry than allow free breakfasts or lunch.

That’s why it matters that The AM Show is pushing this. The AM Show is breakfast news for reactionary Kiwis, so if they are championing it, it has more chance of getting past the naked spite those reactionary Kiwis usually view such progress.

It’s like Mike Hosking championing migrant rights.

Let’s hope this can restart Feed The Kids.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. “Labour bought in free school meals for all kids” might become an intergenerational meme up there with “Mickey Savage’s Labour Govt. bought in state houses and old age pensions”.

    They can “just do it” and they should just do it.

    It is ironic that people that detest Hone Harawira don’t get how basically humane, and universal his Feed the kids bill was. It showed up the dark New Zealanders that are so inward focused that they do not support feeding school kids.

  2. Children do not just belong to their parents but the nation as a whole. They are our future.
    Therefore feeding them and keeping them healthy(physically, mentally) is the responsibility of us all.
    We probably all know instances of failed parents who are trapped by addictions and who do not feed their children.
    These parents failures do not mean we( all of us) have to fail as well.
    The alternatives are to deliver even more innocent children into the proven failure of state care with all its horrors.

  3. Well, I don’t do the ‘child poverty’ thing. Its parental poverty. Children don’t go out to work , – parents do. And what’s that thing about poverty/ minimum wages that the greedies ( read neo liberals ) have gotten away with for the past 36 years/ 3.5 decades, huh?

    There’s your problem and culpable culprits right there.

    Now, we as human beings are tribal/social beings. We do better in a tribe, a group , a collective whole. Those who make good do so as a benefit of belonging to a large/small social group and that’s a fact. Those who live all on their own out in the boonies stand a good chance of premature death whereas those who live in the tribe enjoy mutual and beneficial advantages.

    THEREFORE: Those society’s that mutually look after their children enjoy huge benefits in the long and short term. Are we THAT pathetically poor in this country that we cannot look after our own nations children?

    C’mon.

    Feed the Kids.

    And anyone who disagrees is nothing more than a useless short sighted bean counting bastard.

  4. I don’t know why so many Kiwis are making such a fuss we got fed at kindergarten in the 60s, we also got bottled milk for four cents and heavily subsidized mutton, our pukus were always full.

  5. I don’t know why so many Kiwis are making such a fuss we got fed at kindergarten in the 60s, we also got bottled milk for four cents and heavily subsidized mutton, our pukus were always full.

    • “ .. we also got bottled milk for four cents” , and before that primary school children got milk for free, made into hot cocoa during the winter months. In the post WW2 period, New Zealand school children also received free apples. The nation wide free milk scheme was dumped by the Nats on spurious grounds. Today, a significant part of the apple crop goes to waste. Of course we should be feeding the children.

      New Zealand imposed rationing on our own people during and well after WW2 to help feed the people of Great Britain, and balking at feeding our own children defies human decency.

  6. Robertson would have already gotten extremely creative with the up coming bugbet to pass a feed the kids bill. Has he shown that kind of creativity and flair at all? No, not even a little bit.

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