The government has announced a trial school lunch program from term 1 next year.
A lot of countries around the world have a school lunch program [read wikipedia here] and a mouth watering read here Photos Of School Lunches From Around The World Will Make American Kids Want To Study Abroad.
Sth Australia has just over the last few years introduced a school breakfast and lunch program, way ahead of the rest of Australia, though the other states are catching up.
So why is New Zealand so late in coming to the lunch or breakfast on this ?
One of my most favourite Science Fantasy authors Mercedes Lackey, I have all her books, in her Heralds of Valdemar series of books mentions quite often that education to age 13 is compulsory and for the socially economically deprived this is provided by the Church and that breakfasts & lunches must be provided, paid for by the Crown.
As a retired paediatric nurse, I have seen malnourished kids of all ages in Australia and NZ. I was deeply shocked on returning home from Australia and starting work at my local DHB kids ward to discover this was quite prevalent amongst Maori and Pacifica kids due to their socio-economic challenges, especially those with a chronic illness, Cystic Fibrosis and Bronchiectasis. CF kids need all those things that adults we shouldn't - high fat, high protein, high calorific, high salt. Whilst Bronchiectasis kids needs are on the opposite scale - avoid processed foods. So these kids would come in for their 14 day school holiday antibiotic tune-up and leave healthier in the diet and weight area.
Of course this mostly affects state schools as most private (day & boarding) schools have dinning halls & kitchens and it is part of the annual cost to parents. The problem I see with this new Government initiative is, as usual money. Not only for the food but for the eating areas and the kitchens.
This is because we have come so late to this.
But a more nourished child is a more awake child, a more alert child, a more healthier child, all assisting in better outcomes for that child, leading, hopefully, to a better educated and therefore better socio-economic outcomes.