20% of New Zealand children (at least 200,000) are living below the poverty line
One in five NZ households with children cannot always afford to eat properly, according to the latest national children’s nutrition survey (Parnell et al, 2003). Survey results also show that 45% of the most socio-economically deprived quintile of households report that they sometimes or often run out of food due to lack of money
One third of children attending decile 1-4 primary schools in Whangarei receive food assistance weekly (Carne & Mancini, 2012)
A lack of food is a major barrier to learning, social progress and development. This situation impacts not only on these children as individuals but on their peers and their teachers.
New Zealand is facing a massive demographic shift as its population ages and as baby boomers work fewer hours and require more, and more expensive, care.
As a nation, New Zealand will need every one of those hungry children to be an educated, well-informed and functioning citizen. Providing food for them is not a total solution but it is a cost effective step along the way. (Dale, O’Brien & St John, 2011)
As a member of the United Nations, New Zealand has an obligation to ensure children receive adequate nutrition.
"There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children" - Nelson Mandela