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Topic # 109321 17-Sep-2012 23:07 Send private message

So this video has being doing the social networking rounds after it aired on TV3.  

The investigate lunches in Decile 10 schools vs Decile 1

http://www.3news.co.nz/Lunchbox-differences-in-decile-1-and-decile-10-schools/tabid/367/articleID/269617/Default.aspx

Thoughts?




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  Reply # 687486 18-Sep-2012 00:03 Send private message

holy crap.

I'm not generally a big fan of creating welfare dependency, but in this case I'd say we need to introduce some decent meals in these schools, for these kids.

it might actually make kids want to stay there - perhaps even learn. perhaps that will even help break the cycle of welfare dependency.

by feeding these kids, we could also create a bunch of jobs and perhaps get some of their families off of welfare.





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  Reply # 687504 18-Sep-2012 07:18 Send private message

That's a bit deceiving,my son went to a decile 1 school , and a majority of the lunches looked like the decile 10 school and if they had none it was because they had eaten them for breakfast and morning tea , there were a few that didnt have lunch at all but they never went hungry, because they were fed by there friends. My son always took extra so he could share it.

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  Reply # 687511 18-Sep-2012 07:37 Send private message

I agree that kids need to be fed however I see issues with the whole thing.

First, are we suggesting that there aren't poor families outside of the decile1-3 areas?? And second, if a parent is working hard to make sure their children are fed, why would they continue to do so if the school will. And third its also teaching that you don't need to provide for yourself.

I have distinct memories growing up where money was very very tight, but I never went hungry. Ever. Mum would spend the weekends baking (we'd help but maybe a hindrance). If we were lucky once a month we might have some takeaways as a treat and I think before the age of 10 I'd only been to Maccas 3 or 4 times.

I note that the article shows that the kids breakfast "might" have been a pie on the way to school. Or you saw that there were packets of chips and a fizzie drink for lunch. Add the cost of those together for a week and you can get some cereal, a bottle of milk and some bread plus spreads and make a decent lunch. Okay, so it won't be glamorous as the decile 10 kids was, but not everything is equal and trying to make it so is futile.

Now, as I said above, I'm not against kids being fed. On the contrary I believe its a right of a child to bed fed 3 squares a day. But feeding kids in school is putting the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. A better solution is looking at the family life, ensuring that the parents know how to make food (and do so), and that they are taught how to budget properly and follow that. I'd be quite willing to bet that in many of those decile 1 kids families, takeaways is a many times a week meal.

Learn to cook. Its a skill I think that has sadly been lost amongst many.

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  Reply # 687516 18-Sep-2012 07:49

Sadly it seems we have around spent around $1 billion on 'land' claims - the latest amount in the installment being $170 million alone - yet we cant 'afford' to make sure that our kids have food in their tummies while at school.

Its been proven beyond all doubt that hungry people cant concentrate or learn well.

The charity organisation mentioned in that program reckoned they could feed all the 'at risk' kids for $1-$2 million a year.

I know where I would sooner have the money spent and what we will get he most benefit from as a society.




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  Reply # 687521 18-Sep-2012 07:57 Send private message

OK I'm going to sound blunt ...

But why is it the Schools/Governments problem that the kids don't have lunch?

I blame the parents. There is no excuse for letting your kid go to school with nothing to eat. No excuse. A slice of bread costs how much? A loaf of bread can be bought for $1.80

Sorry I don't buy into this Poverty in NZ nonsense.

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  Reply # 687522 18-Sep-2012 07:58 Send private message


The half that did have lunches showed why the other half didn't. The processed junk food they're living on is expensive. The price of some of those junk food lunches could've bought 10kg of onions or 5kg of potatoes or 2+ kg of bananas at the markets. If you waste money when you do have it you're going to be without it alot more often. The area has high rates of obesity and an astonishing number of alcohol outlets.

It wasn't said but I'd guess many children in the decile 1 class were obtaining their own lunches. There is a culture in low income areas of supplying children with "lunch money" to buy food at the dairy on the way to school.

What did surprise me was the sugary and processed carbohydrates they are wanting to supply to all low decile schools. While an improvement over chocolate biscuits that isn't a good way to discourage hunger, obesity and unhealthy eating. 

You might remember the last government wanted to regulate the kind of food and fuzzy drink being sold and eaten in schools. They went a step too far by wanting to crack down on meat pies so this government scrapped it.

If you fed an animal the diet some of those children are having it'd be called abuse. Imagine what they eat at home.

vexxxboy: That's a bit deceiving,my son went to a decile 1 school , and a majority of the lunches looked like the decile 10 school and if they had none it was because they had eaten them for breakfast and morning tea , there were a few that didnt have lunch at all but they never went hungry, because they were fed by there friends. My son always took extra so he could share it.

Time and regional differences would make a difference. Much fewer are going without lunch in Wellington
http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/7649023/Lunchboxes-show-difference-between-poor-and-rich

Byrned: I agree that kids need to be fed however I see issues with the whole thing.

First, are we suggesting that there aren't poor families outside of the decile1-3 areas?? And second, if a parent is working hard to make sure their children are fed, why would they continue to do so if the school will. And third its also teaching that you don't need to provide for yourself.

If only low decile schools provide free food the low income parents will make sure their children only go to low decile schools. That's a powerful ghettoisation effect.



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  Reply # 687531 18-Sep-2012 08:03 Send private message



I note that the article shows that the kids breakfast "might" have been a pie on the way to school. Or you saw that there were packets of chips and a fizzie drink for lunch. Add the cost of those together for a week and you can get some cereal, a bottle of milk and some bread plus spreads and make a decent lunch. Okay, so it won't be glamorous as the decile 10 kids was, but not everything is equal and trying to make it so is futile.

Learn to cook. Its a skill I think that has sadly been lost amongst many.


I think the reason that the kids are having fizzie drinks and chips at school is due to it being easier to give a kid $5 and say 'buy yourself something at the dairy/canteen' without proper instructions of guidance about what is a healthy lunch - than make a kid lunch.  If I was a kid, I'd certainly want to eat fizzy and chips at school for lunch, but mum/dad would have ensured that I use any money she gives me to buy at least a somewhat healthy lunch.  Taking money to school was a treat!

Also consider that to give a balanced diet is not cheap, nor easy for low income families - especially those who were not brought up to be able to properly budget and choose healthy meals.  Buying hot chips for dinner is cheaper than providing a balanced meal with meat, vegetables and pastas.  The lunch problem has probably been happening for many generations.

I guess everyone has there stories about how 'mum always budgeted and we were poor and we never went hungry' - I also believe we are probably some of the successful bunch, and maybe we are not the type that will end up in jail, or having children at a very early age.  Maybe our mums got it right!

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  Reply # 687584 18-Sep-2012 10:07 Send private message

It's a whole Chicken and Egg debate... Do you feed the kids or upskill the parents....

The reality is you have to do both, and it's a hard balance because you'll always have well meaning and vocal interest groups on each side.

How easy is it to teach someone on a state benefit of some sort (income support, housing etc) it's cheaper to put vegemite on some bread than buy a 'Cookie'? The answer is it's no easier than teaching them how to budget to manage what they do have, or how to supplement an income with home grown food.

You'll get a different picture, I'm sure, at every school. The School decile system is, as I understand it, supposedly a reflection of (socio-economic) status of the community it serves. Does this make poverty a 'local' problem within a community? If it does you'd think it would be a lot easier to manage on a community by community basis where local groups worked together to support and encourage those with the most need.... it's how every community in this country started and grew.

Like others I agree we shouldn't be letting children go hungry, we shouldn't be denying them the opportunity to reach their potential and contribute to their own and the countries growth and future. The problem is defining my (and your) responsibility in that process. Is it time, money, nothing, or an ever change mix?

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  Reply # 687597 18-Sep-2012 10:36 Send private message

I would never let my son or daughter go to school without food or to school witg the food that a couple of those kids were sent with.
My call lays with the parents, I wonder if you walked into the house that sent the kids to school with no food and have a look in the fridge, see if its full of alcohol, wonder if there's cigarette packets or a sky decoder in lounge?

I would give up anything and put my kids first, no questions asked.
These are very broad and general comments I know. But I'm sure alot of the houses those kids are coming from will have things at home they could've done without to provide for the kids.

I am in favour of all kids having a decent meal, 3 decent meals. But if we are going to do it, it can't be a school by school, or an income based thing, all public schools or none, obviously the cost of this would be far to much so won't happen.
I do hope that something changes and kids are looked after at the end of the day.

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  Reply # 687621 18-Sep-2012 11:11 Send private message

"I never had such problem, therefore your problem must be of your own doing."  is a pretty typical response from people when it comes to socio-economic issues, people have neither the ability nor desire to see the situation from the other side.  

But even if we for the sake of argument just say "ok, it's the parents fault", that solves nothing, sure you can teach a man to fish, but if he dies of starvation while you're doing it then YOU have failed miserably, not them.

If providing funded meals in schools means children are better educated, and healthier, then DO IT.  No mucking around, no hand wringing, or finger pointing, just do it, why is it even a question.





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  Reply # 687627 18-Sep-2012 11:22 Send private message

sleemanj: "I never had such problem, therefore your problem must be of your own doing."  is a pretty typical response from people when it comes to socio-economic issues, people have neither the ability nor desire to see the situation from the other side.  

But even if we for the sake of argument just say "ok, it's the parents fault", that solves nothing, sure you can teach a man to fish, but if he dies of starvation while you're doing it then YOU have failed miserably, not them.

If providing funded meals in schools means children are better educated, and healthier, then DO IT.  No mucking around, no hand wringing, or finger pointing, just do it, why is it even a question.



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  Reply # 687632 18-Sep-2012 11:33 Send private message

mxpress:
If providing funded meals in schools means children are better educated, and healthier, then DO IT.  No mucking around, no hand wringing, or finger pointing, just do it, why is it even a question.



then DO IT?

Yes its easy to say lets provide meals, and in a perfect world we probably should. But lets be realistic. Where is the money going to come from? How much more debt must NZ spiral into? NZ is already borrowing over +$200million per week, and that borrowed money is already funding free schools/healthcare etc .. We just can't afford it.
These parents should be held accountable for being irresponsible parents.

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  Reply # 687634 18-Sep-2012 11:43 Send private message

Spend money on feeding kids for a day and you only feed them for a day,

Spend money on educating and/or changing parents views, feed kids for life.

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  Reply # 687636 18-Sep-2012 11:46 Send private message

BraaiGuy:
mxpress:
If providing funded meals in schools means children are better educated, and healthier, then DO IT. ?No mucking around, no hand wringing, or finger pointing, just do it, why is it even a question.



then DO IT?

Yes its easy to say lets provide meals, and in a perfect world we probably should. But lets be realistic. Where is the money going to come from? How much more debt must NZ spiral into? NZ is already borrowing over +$200million per week, and that borrowed money is already funding free schools/healthcare etc .. We just can't afford it.
These parents should be held accountable for being irresponsible parents.


The story said it'd take only $4 million per year to feed all decile 1-4 schools nation wide. In the grand scheme of things that is nothing. Kids can already has 2.2million for this year, surely this is where public / private should be working together. I.e. Fonterra could donate the milk etc.

Not perfect but as said in earlier posts we spend a lot more on less.

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  Reply # 687637 18-Sep-2012 11:48 Send private message

mxpress:
sleemanj: "I never had such problem, therefore your problem must be of your own doing." ?is a pretty typical response from people when it comes to socio-economic issues, people have neither the ability nor desire to see the situation from the other side. ?

But even if we for the sake of argument just say "ok, it's the parents fault", that solves nothing, sure you can teach a man to fish, but if he dies of starvation while you're doing it then YOU have failed miserably, not them.

If providing funded meals in schools means children are better educated, and healthier, then DO IT. ?No mucking around, no hand wringing, or finger pointing, just do it, why is it even a question.



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this. And I would add:

74% of people don't believe that advertising has an effect on them
90% of people believe that they are a better than average driver

I think the starting point is to agree that children need to have a full tummy to learn. I think nearly everyone agrees with this statement.

The "how we do this" is tricky as most of you point out. This is different to whether children need a full belly to learn.

Therefore the risks with actually feeding kids at school are numerous, but it would be interesting to understand the perceived risk vs actual risk (per my comment above about peoples bias').

I would question how many people are out there purposefully ripping off the system or being intentionally useless parents.

There will always be some (media would have you believe everyone as this sells advertising per above), but if the reality is that most people aren't like this, why do we worry so much about these takers to the detriment of our children?

To use a car analogy that would be like driving to other end of the country to do your supermarket shopping to save 20c a litre on fuel.

Apologies for being overly rational in a heated blame fest.

Jon

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