The ‘Feed the kids bill’ was put to parliament on March 18. The bill aims to introduce breakfast and lunch in decile one and two schools. It was voted down by 61 votes to 59.
The facts are there: Twenty four per cent of Kiwi children live in poverty. Children who live in poverty are three times more likely to end up in hospital. Seventeen per cent of Kiwi children live in material hardship. That means they have no food, no bedding, no shoes, no clothes and no heating. Poverty is also the number one reason attributed to students not achieving in school.
The bill was budgeted at $100 million a year – this includes the food, preparation, transport and research costs. It allows schools the flexibility to implement practices to suit the school.
Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei inherited the bill from Hone Harawira after he lost the Te Tai Tokerau seat during last year’s election. The bill was opposed by National, Act and United Future.
Auckland High School teacher Zac Painting says he is embarrassed by our statistics and that in a country like New Zealand there should not be any children going hungry.
Despite the statistics, Prime Minister John Key has said the problem is not widespread.
Newsbeat journalist Laura Barker talks to high school teacher Zac Painting about what he thinks of the Feed the Kids bill.
Listen to a shortened version of the interview below:
Listen to the full interview below: