“…School staff in the Waikato are forking out their own food and money so students don’t go hungry – according to new research into school food programmes in the region.
One low decile school reported half of its children were arriving hungry each week – while others said a lack of access to good food was causing high non-attendance rates because kids were getting sick.
Poverty Action Waikato researcher Anna Cox has been looking at food provision in the region’s schools since March in an effort to “break the cycle” of child poverty and encourage more schools to introduce food programmes.
“It became apparent that something needs to be done around food, and schools are a great resource in that way for a community.”
Preliminary research results showed the extent to which schools were seeing hungry kids varied across the region.
One school, that did not have a food provision programme -
- estimated half of its pupils were turning up to class hungry..”
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