An estimated 270, 000 children live in poverty in New Zealand
Currently 20% of households with school age children are unable to provide a sufficient nutritionally balanced diet for their children
Research shows that hunger and inadequate nutrition in children is linked to poor academic performance and achievement. This, in turn, is associated with feelings of disempowerment, reduced future employment opportunities and individuals becoming trapped in low wage employment or benefit dependency later in life.
Children with poor nutrition, whose breakfast is composed of less than 20% of the recommended daily energy requirement, score lower in creativity tests, have lower voluntary physical endurance, and have higher reports of ‘feeling bad’.
Children from low-income households are more likely to have higher cholesterol intake and eat fewer healthy foods than their peers in higher income households.
The cost of implementing this Bill is $100 million per year, which pales in comparison to the approximately $6 billion annual cost we pay in dealing with the poor health, remedial education and reduced productivity of those who have grown up in poverty.
This Bill will provide a sustainable and secure nutritional basis for these children while at school to enable them to learn, gain employment opportunities, and participate as meaningful members of society.
Kids don’t choose to be hungry and moreover they are powerless to change their own situation; it is up to every one of us to sign a petition to make change happen for them.