Editorial: Food fix better than alternative

By Linda Hall

I remember sitting on the seats just outside the classroom at Mayfair School, eating my lunch.

I can't remember exactly what I had but I imagine it was sandwiches and fruit.

What I can't imagine is being a hungry child.

Ask anyone who knows me: I love to eat.

The thought of children going to school and trying to learn to concentrate while all they can think about is food is shocking.

So the Government's plan to put up $9.5 million during the next five years to allow Fonterra and Sanitarium to expand the schools' breakfast programme is something I totally support.

It may not be the Government's or the school's role to feed these children but if the parents aren't going to do it, someone has to.

Educating the parents is a separate issue and it needs to be addressed.

However, you are not going to educate the parents in punishing the kids by not giving them food.

Feeding the children is the most important part of the plan. Even if their parents are spending their money on booze or cigarettes, it is not the kids' fault and they still need to be fed.

Think of the long-term effect this is most likely to have.

Children who would otherwise be listless and inattentive are more likely to listen and learn.

They are more likely to go out into the playground and try playing a sport.

They are more likely to be happy and interact with others.

Isn't that what we want? Happy children who will grow into happy and productive adults?

I know it might take a bit more than Weet-bix and milk to achieve all this, but it's a darn good start.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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