Free school lunches served up in the BOP

File photo.

Thousands of children have begun receiving a free lunch on every day of the school week, says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

The Government’s free and healthy school lunch programme is under way for 7,000 students at 31 schools in Hawke’s Bay / Tairāwhiti and Bay of Plenty / Waiariki, extending to 21,000 students in 120 schools, including Otago / Southland, by the start of 2021.

The Prime Minister is serving up lunch today at Flaxmere Primary in Hawke’s Bay with Education Minister Chris Hipkins.

“A full stomach makes all the difference to a child’s learning,” sys Jacinda.

“We are making good progress on tackling the long-term challenges that cause child poverty but none of the solutions are instant.

"Providing a free and healthy lunch at school is one way to help make New Zealand the best place in the world to be a child and to make that difference immediately.

“As we’ve seen at Flaxmere Primary, providing these lunches has also led to jobs for local families."

Most schools have selected external suppliers to provide their lunches, with five opting to prepare their own lunches.

“The model used by Flaxmere Primary involves whānau as key players in the design and delivery of its lunch programme,” says Chris.

“All schools in this first tranche have worked hard to meet the requirements of the pilot and their insight will help to inform the ongoing rollout of free lunches in schools."

The free and healthy school lunches programme is one of 75 initiatives from New Zealand’s Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy launched last year, which was developed with input from 10,000 New Zealanders including 6000 young people.

Reducing child poverty is a key goal of this Government and the $5.5 billion Families Package and initiatives in the Wellbeing Budget are expected to raise 50,000-74,000 children out of poverty.

Flaxmere Primary also has a free stationery scheme, received $321,552 from the Government’s School Investment Package, has signed up to the Government’s School Donations Scheme and this year will have on-site one of the 600 new Learning Support Coordinators.




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3 Comments

Not free, the rest of us are paying

Posted on 20-02-2020 22:28 | By I B Stornche

But I suppose it means more money in certain problem parents hands to spend on drugs and booze.

Free Everything

Posted on 20-02-2020 17:44 | By usandthem

Free breakfasts,free shoes,free raincoats and now free lunches.Why doesn’t the government build dormitories at schools so the kids can move in permanantly away from their parents with a lack of lifes prioritys.Kids never went hungry during the depression of the 1930s,when no-one had any money or jobs.If people weren’t gambling,boozing,taking drugs and getting tattooed with ever dollar they get then they may be able to feed their kids.

Awesome

Posted on 20-02-2020 15:18 | By Yadick

A number of parents should will have more to put towards their cigarettes, alcohol, wide screen TV’s, stereos and V8’s. It’s not fixing the problem, it’s putting a feel good band-aid on the ostriches bum that’s got it’s head buried in the sand. I mean I don’t want to see kids starving and going without essentials but it’s time to revamp how the benefits are given and used.

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