The school bell rings: it's lunchtime in a full primary school in a busy little provincial town.
Kids are squealing and shouting, running around in the sun and teasing their mates. But not everyone is so content.
There's a group of bigger kids, from Years 7 and 8, who didn't bring their lunch to school. They're hassling some of the younger kids for food, who give it up because they're frightened of the standover tactics.
I was told this story by a Hawke's Bay school principal. It happens. It happens right here in our communities. It's sad and it's also a fact of life. We've decided to do something about it.
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It's a terrible fact of life that children are living in poverty in this country. There isn't enough food in the cupboards.
The bills are paid week to week and sometimes food is too expensive if there's a big power bill or an appliance that needs to be repaired.
We've made some progress, and Statistics NZ released data this week shows 18,400 kids have been lifted out of poverty. This is a long-term challenge. We plan to halve child poverty in 10 years. There is more to do.
Little things, like putting free sandwiches and fruit in a lunchbox, can help.
Making it cheaper to visit the doctor – or free if you're under 14 - can help. Putting nurses into some schools, at last count covering 24,000 children, can help.
Scrapping school donations can help. Raising the minimum wage to $18.90 this year can help. Extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks can help.
Giving $60 per week in Best Start payments to parents of newborns can help. The Winter Energy Payment of $31 per week can help.
Keeping tight watch over market players who influence power prices and petrol prices can help. Delivering 4000 more spaces in public housing can help.
But back to lunchboxes. You may have seen the photos and videos that went viral on social media this week of Izaiyah, from Flaxmere Primary School.
He gave Jacinda Ardern a big cheesy grin with a strip of orange peel for a smile. I think most of us went to school with a kid like Izaiyah.
He was great talent for the media cameras. I want all kids to be happy like that, to be good natured and relaxed around adults, even if they are the Prime Minister or journalists with microphones and cameras.
Some kids have it tough at home. I joined Jacinda at Flaxmere Primary to announce our free lunch in schools programme. Thirty one schools in Hawke's Bay, Tairawhiti, Bay of Plenty and Waiariki are part of this healthy lunch programme.
That's 7000 students every single day, with full tummies, big smiles, and a great attitude when they're in the classroom.
I've talked to seasoned cops about what they see at houses of gang members and other offenders they have to arrest.
The kids are often in a sorry state. Free lunches aren't going to solve everything for these kids. But they are one part of the jigsaw.
Poverty, joblessness, desperation are all factors that gangs target amongst young men they look to recruit. If we break that cycle, we can break the patterns that lead people into gangs and offending in the first place.
• Stuart Nash is the MP for Napier and the Minister of Police.