Tell the National Govt you value students' wellbeing

Our students need fresh, healthy food to fuel their busy school days and lives. That’s why Labour introduced the Ka Ora, Ka Ako healthy school lunch programme. Teachers, parents, principals and health experts all saw the benefits of it.

Disappointingly, it’s been revealed that the National Government knew its changes to the school lunch programme would risk achievement, attendance, nutrition and wellbeing of New Zealand children, as well as having wider impacts on reducing child poverty.

But they went ahead and made the changes anyway.

In March, the Government considered a Cabinet Paper which included advice from multiple agencies, including strong opposition to cutting back the programme:

  • The Ministry of Health said “…the current proposal does not appear to be grounded in public health evidence and are concerned it will have a significant negative impact on communities where Ka Ora, Ka Ako is having the greatest impact.”
  • Te Puni Kokiri said “risks to learner achievement should the nutritional value of food delivered to secondary learners reduce”.
  • The Ministry of Education also made clear what we already knew, that $3 a day is not sufficient to feed secondary kids properly. They said the budget constraint “could lead to supplied food that is insufficient or unsuitable”.

The changes the Government has made will see students getting a snack rather than a healthy meal. Concerns have also been raised about communities losing local jobs, some of which are done by parents. With unemployment set to rise, this could be a double whammy for some household budgets during a cost-of-living crisis.

What can you do about it?

Email Education Minister Erica Stanford and Associate Education Minister David Seymour and let them know why you want to see the programme fully funded in all secondary schools.

You can use the form below to email Erica Stanford and David Seymour. In your email, share your story about how the programme has impacted your community or whānau. Encourage your friends and family to add their voices too. 

The Government must show it values students, their education, and their futures.

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