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Greens want govt to fund food in schools

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 22/06/2016

Green Party MP Marama Davidson Green Party MP Marama Davidson The Greens are again calling on the government to provide breakfasts and lunches in schools following a report that Upper Hutt businesses aren't prepared to fund a local project.

"Leaving it to cash-strapped community organisations to feed our hungry children clearly isn't working, and that's why we need the government to step in," said MP Marama Davidson.

"Thousands of Kiwi kids are going to school hungry every day, through no fault of their own."

The RNZ report said 14 Upper Hutt primary and intermediate schools have teamed up with a local trust to work out ways to provide lunches for an estimated 50 children who turn up hungry.

They need about $30,000 a year and Manuel Dalton, who is running the trust, says he emailed about 300 local businesses asking for help and received only two replies - both of them turned down the appeal.

Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce chief executive Mark Futter says he's "astounded" by the lack of response.

"I'm genuinely surprised to be perfectly honest ... the feedback that's been given to me is that there's been a genuine lack of interest."

Mr Manuel says he's going to keep on trying.

In March last year former MP Hone Harawira's "feed the kids" bill was defeated in parliament.

It would have provided government-funded breakfasts and lunches for children in schools in poorer areas.

At the time, Prime Minister John Key said parents were expected to feed their children properly and the vast majority did.

He said food in schools programmes existed for needy children.

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