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Ultimate Geek

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# 255788 29-Aug-2019 19:04
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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.





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  # 2308077 29-Aug-2019 20:17
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I had breakfast, lunch and dinner at school...!

 

 

 

School lunches (at least in the UK - I have no experience of education in NZ) in State schools were certainly still a thing until relatively recent history, I believe. They returned for at least some age groups in 2014. It made for quite a vein of comedy gold over the years, did school dinner jokes. 

 

 

 

It seems like a sensible thing to do - and way more sensible than a lot of things governments spend our money on.






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  # 2308088 29-Aug-2019 20:28
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What it comes back to is the rent is far too high and isn't going down. This measure is effectively another income subsidy.

 

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Over time there is constant downwards pressure on budgets. There is constant jostling and lobbying from interested big food interests to shift menus in their direction. Lobbyists get unhealthy food redefined as healthy food. This plays out over decades.

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  # 2308091 29-Aug-2019 20:42
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i  remember when my son's school put on breakfast for the same reasons and my son went every morning to eat it even though he has the same food at home, in the end they stopped it because the only kids turning up were the ones who parents could afford to provide breakfast. If my son still went to school i would have been so glad is this had happened. It would have meant i didnt have to make lunch for him every day and he would have loved it . 





Common sense is not as common as you think.


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  # 2308094 29-Aug-2019 20:47
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I think its a great concept but will be poorly executed.  Why does Government feel the need to get involved at a grass roots level?

 

We currently have some very fine and effective charities that provide food in schools (EatMyLunch, Kidscan etc etc).  If the intention is to provide food for children in schools why doesnt the Government provide funding to programmes that are already in place and providing effective (but insufficient amounts due to funding constraints) solutions.

 

Government is always a poor steward.  This will be wasteful but well intentioned.


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Ultimate Geek


  # 2308103 29-Aug-2019 21:12
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Good intentions and no one would argue that kids should go hungry, but until society learns that kids are expensive to raise and having more kids isnt a vocation, the cycle of poverty simply will not end. 

 

Private enterprise and/or charities could do this so much better (and probably should).

 

How many schools have the ability to cater for several hundred school lunches on a daily basis, very few I imagine. Not only will funding be needed for the actual food itself, but also the kitchens (which will need to be full size commercial grade kitchens with appropriate food safety regimes in place) and the staff to run them. How many schools have the capacity within their existing power supply to handle the massive electricity and/or gas requirements of a commercial kitchen, upgrades to central supply don't come cheap.

 

When you add up all the costs over a 3-5 year period, what does it mean on a per meal basis? I would be astounded if it was less than $5-6 per child per day, probably more towards $8-10, is that really economic?

 

And double good luck to schools with all the allergies, dietary requirements and cultural sensitivity handling thats going to be needed to provide lunch to our multi-cultural gender diverse, vegan, ceoliac, nutt and egg allergic darlings, and ofcourse no fizzy either. Roll on the 7 sharp / campbell live edition of school lunches causing obesity!

 

Its a typical labour policy, poorly thought out, but gee, didn't Jacinda smile nicely delivering it


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  # 2308160 29-Aug-2019 22:24
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With a comment like 'having more kids isnt a vocation' shows you dont understand what the poverty cycle truly entails.

It comes back to education at the end of the day. A kid at school shouldn't need to worry about where their next meal will come from. They should be able to be 'a kid'. Have fun, learn stuff etc. Perhaps then later in life they will have the skills to make the good decisions when it comes to things like having sex, or who they hang out with etc..

As for private enterprise doing this...yep righto, because that works so well for our DHB's and hospital meals.

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  # 2308200 30-Aug-2019 07:24
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sen8or:

 

Good intentions and no one would argue that kids should go hungry, but until society learns that kids are expensive to raise and having more kids isnt a vocation, the cycle of poverty simply will not end. 

 

Private enterprise and/or charities could do this so much better (and probably should).

 

How many schools have the ability to cater for several hundred school lunches on a daily basis, very few I imagine. Not only will funding be needed for the actual food itself, but also the kitchens (which will need to be full size commercial grade kitchens with appropriate food safety regimes in place) and the staff to run them. How many schools have the capacity within their existing power supply to handle the massive electricity and/or gas requirements of a commercial kitchen, upgrades to central supply don't come cheap.

 

When you add up all the costs over a 3-5 year period, what does it mean on a per meal basis? I would be astounded if it was less than $5-6 per child per day, probably more towards $8-10, is that really economic?

 

And double good luck to schools with all the allergies, dietary requirements and cultural sensitivity handling thats going to be needed to provide lunch to our multi-cultural gender diverse, vegan, ceoliac, nutt and egg allergic darlings, and ofcourse no fizzy either. Roll on the 7 sharp / campbell live edition of school lunches causing obesity!

 

Its a typical labour policy, poorly thought out, but gee, didn't Jacinda smile nicely delivering it

 

 

I could buy KFC lunch snack box for probably $7 max. I doubt a mass produced meal of meat and vege in a small plate would cost the same

 

Whats the typical National policy? Starve them?

 

Economics 101 is not the be all and end all of society, seeing the unfortunate helped out is not such a bad thing


 
 
 
 


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Ultimate Geek


  # 2308232 30-Aug-2019 08:31
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chevrolux: With a comment like 'having more kids isnt a vocation' shows you dont understand what the poverty cycle truly entails.

It comes back to education at the end of the day. A kid at school shouldn't need to worry about where their next meal will come from. They should be able to be 'a kid'. Have fun, learn stuff etc. Perhaps then later in life they will have the skills to make the good decisions when it comes to things like having sex, or who they hang out with etc..

As for private enterprise doing this...yep righto, because that works so well for our DHB's and hospital meals.

 

 

 

The poverty cycle entails (or is at least significantly affected by) parents having more kids than what they can afford, its a fairly straight forward argument.

 

Children are expensive to bring up and balancing how many you want vs how many you can realistically bring up in a socially responsible way is an adult decision that some simply don't seem to grasp. When TV parades a solo parent struggling to feed their 6 kids, my sympathy for the parent nosedives. As I said, no one would argue that kids should go hungry nor do I begrudge welfare going where it would do maximum benefit, but social responsibility often seems a one way street.

 

People who will be no better off or only marginally better off use that as an excuse not to get off the benefit and take a "low paying" job, but wouldn't the socially responsible thing to do be for them to take the job (which may also then open up other opportunities down the line for them) so that they money they were being paid by the Govt can go towards someone who actually needs it?

 

Airline meals are private enterprise run by specialist suppliers, for the most part they seem to work pretty well, do you think airlines pay over the odds for the meals served? It can be done, perhaps the difference being the decision making process by private enterprise vs Govt funded politically focused administrators

 

 


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Ultimate Geek


  # 2308242 30-Aug-2019 08:49
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tdgeek:

 

sen8or:

 

Good intentions and no one would argue that kids should go hungry, but until society learns that kids are expensive to raise and having more kids isnt a vocation, the cycle of poverty simply will not end. 

 

Private enterprise and/or charities could do this so much better (and probably should).

 

How many schools have the ability to cater for several hundred school lunches on a daily basis, very few I imagine. Not only will funding be needed for the actual food itself, but also the kitchens (which will need to be full size commercial grade kitchens with appropriate food safety regimes in place) and the staff to run them. How many schools have the capacity within their existing power supply to handle the massive electricity and/or gas requirements of a commercial kitchen, upgrades to central supply don't come cheap.

 

When you add up all the costs over a 3-5 year period, what does it mean on a per meal basis? I would be astounded if it was less than $5-6 per child per day, probably more towards $8-10, is that really economic?

 

And double good luck to schools with all the allergies, dietary requirements and cultural sensitivity handling thats going to be needed to provide lunch to our multi-cultural gender diverse, vegan, ceoliac, nutt and egg allergic darlings, and ofcourse no fizzy either. Roll on the 7 sharp / campbell live edition of school lunches causing obesity!

 

Its a typical labour policy, poorly thought out, but gee, didn't Jacinda smile nicely delivering it

 

 

I could buy KFC lunch snack box for probably $7 max. I doubt a mass produced meal of meat and vege in a small plate would cost the same

 

Whats the typical National policy? Starve them?

 

Economics 101 is not the be all and end all of society, seeing the unfortunate helped out is not such a bad thing

 

 

 

 

But you need economics 101 to help pay for all the social spending......


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  # 2308244 30-Aug-2019 08:57
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sen8or:

 

 

 

But you need economics 101 to help pay for all the social spending......

 

 

I said  "Economics 101 is not the be all and end all of society, seeing the unfortunate helped out is not such a bad thing"

 

Not that we don't need economics. Right now we just have economics, the lower socio economic people, are just too bad, we do a bit for them as we have to. But we have no interest in a happy society, its only about GDP


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  # 2308254 30-Aug-2019 09:17
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sen8or:

 

Private enterprise and/or charities could do this so much better (and probably should).

 

 

It's nonsense to trot out this tired line. If they can do so much better, why haven't they done so to date? 


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Ultimate Geek


  # 2308260 30-Aug-2019 09:35
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Whats nonsense about it?

 

It hasn't been done to date probably because it hasn't actually been explored.

 

I have significant doubts that a Govt entity (and not just because its a Labour govt, the same applies to National Govts too) is as economic user of resources as private enterprise (which can ofcourse include charitable organisations). Most Govts couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery without going through multiple consultation stages, paying hundred of thousands / millions of dollars to "focus groups", employing (and subsequently sacking with large golden handshakes) a handful of leaders of the project before finally shelving it and moving on to something else.

 

There are multiple charities at the moment providing lunches to certain schools.

 

Fonterra used a tiny fraction of their vast marketing budget for the milk in schools project (is that still going??)

 

As I said in the beginning, well intentioned poorly thought out. I hope I'm wrong and its a raging success, but then I also hope each week that my lotto numbers roll out. I give pretty similar odds.....

 

 

 

 


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Ultimate Geek


  # 2308268 30-Aug-2019 09:47
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dafman:

 

sen8or:

 

Private enterprise and/or charities could do this so much better (and probably should).

 

 

It's nonsense to trot out this tired line. If they can do so much better, why haven't they done so to date? 

 

 

From what I heard on talkback radio last night, the Government will give the schools the money for the lunches etc, but it is up to them to choose the provider. In theory, the local Marae could do it. or even the local Subway 


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Ultimate Geek


  # 2308271 30-Aug-2019 09:52
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chevrolux: With a comment like 'having more kids isnt a vocation' shows you dont understand what the poverty cycle truly entails.

It comes back to education at the end of the day. A kid at school shouldn't need to worry about where their next meal will come from. They should be able to be 'a kid'. Have fun, learn stuff etc. Perhaps then later in life they will have the skills to make the good decisions when it comes to things like having sex, or who they hang out with etc..

....

 

Perhaps I don't understand it properly either, but it seems that a very common theme is people without jobs popping out kids flat out to get the $$ from the government, and promptly spending it on smokes, alcohol and drugs while the kids are essentially neglected and don't even have shoes.

 

And that muppet Turia is going on about how Oranga Tamariki need to "STOP MAORI CHILD UPLIFTS NOW" etc. Oranga Tamariki don't get it right every time, and not every social worker is perfect, but in the big scheme of things they are doing great work and trying very hard to stop this 'cycle' we're talking about. 

 

IMO the whole thing is still quite backwards. Instead of making it difficult for people on the bene to work part time etc, it should be heavily encouraged. Getting people into the workforce and obtaining skills a really good start, but the way the whole bene setup is currently structured it encourages people to sit around and do stuff all. 

 

Goes right back to 'why don't you tax us less in the first place and stop giving so much to people that can't be bothered working'. That is a massive sweeping generalization but IMO not incorrect. 

 

 

 

Anyway. 

 

School lunches aren't a bad idea if it's done well. The last thing kids need to worry about is where their next meal is going to come from and it can take some pressure off parents.


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Ultimate Geek


  # 2308273 30-Aug-2019 09:52
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