David Shearer food in schools bill welcomed
The Community Campaign for Food in Schools* has welcomed the introduction to parliament of David Shearer’s “Education (Food in Schools) Bill”. The Bill was drawn from the member’s ballot yesterday and would provide for food in Decile 1-3 primary and intermediate schools.
“Food in schools is a programme providing important relief to children who arrive at school hungry and reduces the impact of poverty on children. It is a programme that ought to be legislated for and underpinned by government investment to ensure it is sustained,” says Deborah Morris-Travers of Every Child Counts.
“Legislation can help ensure that food in schools programmes are monitored for their impact, integrated with other social service provision in schools and communities, and managed so that maximum benefits are achieved for children.
“With 270,000 Kiwi Kids living in poverty and missing out on the goods and services they need for wellbeing, food in schools is a practical response from government and communities. Done well, it can involve parents and build community, link to curriculum learning, improve school attendance and academic performance.
“We now have the unique situation of parliament considering two members’ bills that seek to legislate for food in schools. We strongly recommend that these bills be referred to Select Committee – perhaps for consideration together.
It is timely for parliament to consider how – or if - our nation will meet its obligation under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to ensure children have the material resources they need for health. Quality food in schools programmes that are sustained and appropriately managed can help meet the best interests of children,” concludes Ms Morris-Travers.
* Community Campaign for Food in Schools
Auckland Action Against Poverty
Caritas Aotearoa NZ
Child Poverty Action Group
Choose Kids: Students Giving Kiwi Kids a Chance
Every Child Counts
NZ Educational Institute
NZ Nurses’ Organisation
NZ Principals’ Federation
Poverty Action Waikato
Quality Public Education Coalition (QPEC)
Save the Children
Te ORA (Te Ohu Rata o Aotearoa): Māori Medical Practitioners’ Association
Te Rōpū Wāhine Māori Toko i te Ora (Māori Women’s Welfare League)
Te Rūnanga Nui o Ngā Kura Kaupapa Māori
Te Tai Tokerau PHO
Te Waka Huia Māori Cultural Group
Tertiary Education Union
The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners