Media Release: AAAP supports Harawira Bill – Who wouldn’t want to feed the kids?

Media release 23 January 2013

AAAP supports Harawira Bill – Who wouldn’t want to feed the kids?

 Auckland Action Against Poverty supports the Education (Breakfast and Lunch in Schools) Amendment Bill sponsored by Hone Harawaira MP and we urge all political parties to support the Bill at its first reading in February, says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson Sarah Thompson.

 Research shows that food-in-school programmes have a positive impact on school attendance, learning achievement, and child health – for this reason alone, who wouldn’t want to feed the kids?

 “One of the best things about this Bill is that the meals will be available universally to children in decile 1 and 2 schools – this does away with the shaming and blaming of those who don’t have any or adequate food to bring to school with them,” says Ms Thompson.

 As the Bill recommends, the provision of this food shouldn’t be left to charity but should be taxpayer funded – this will ensure greater access country-wide and decrease the dependance on the whims and follies of individual charities and businesses.

 “While we wholeheartedly support this Bill, we see it as just the beginning.

 “Auckland Action Against Poverty believes at least one good healthy funded meal a day should be provided for all children in publicly funded schools, as there is in many countries including the UK.

 “In addition, in the larger scheme of things, there is an urgent need for decent job creation, a living wage and higher benefit payment rates.”