Editorial: 'Angel' pushing positive mantra

By Michele Hunter

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Stephen Pearson.
Stephen Pearson.

While most of us just talk about how terrible it is for kids to go to school hungry, one local dad has actually done something about it.

Gate Pa father of two Stephen Pearson was shocked when he noticed some students at his child's school were, in his words, "really, really, really hungry".

The confronting discovery upset him, but instead of sharing his concern with someone and hoping for change, the port worker decided to take action himself.

He set up the Facebook page Kids Love Kai as a means of co-ordinating donations of Rice Bubbles, Corn Flakes and fresh fruit, which he could then personally deliver to schools and a daycare in Tauranga.

His efforts are making it possible for staff to offer hungry children more food and some variety from the Weet-Bix some of them have been eating every day for years.

What really struck me about the story was a comment made by Merivale School principal Jan Tinetti. Describing Mr Pearson as "a bit of an angel" she says his food makes it possible to help children who require more than one meal a day.

I'm assuming this means there are some children who come to school with an empty stomach, as well as an empty lunchbox.

As shocking as this is, talking about it won't solve the problem, or full up the kids.

I think the message Mr Pearson's efforts portray is simple. When you don't know what to do about a situation, no matter how overwhelming, - take the first step. From his decision to do what he could, he is making what the Gate Pa School health co-ordinator Janette Blake is already describing as an invaluable contribution.

I hope the community and businesses get behind his inspirational efforts. His action is now providing a vehicle for the rest of us - who talk about how awful it is for children to go to school hungry - to easily do something about it.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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