Educators pen open letter for free lunches

Educators and leaders have rallied together in an open letter addressed to Prime Minister Christopher Luxon asking him to save free lunches.

Leaders of the education sector have released an open letter to Prime Minister Christopher Luxon asking him to save the Ka Ora, Ka Ako | Healthy Lunches in Schools programme.  

Recently Deputy Education Minister David Seymour announced that funding for the programme may be cut by as much as 50 percent, claiming that the programme is wasteful and does not provide value for money.  

Read the latest print edition of School News HERE 

The letter calls on the government to continue funding for the programme at current levels, stating that the programme has created massive benefit in communities.  

It reads in part: “One in five children in our country live with food poverty. Nutritious food is essential for learning, which is why the school lunch programme was created.”  

The letter also draws attention to the recent PISA research that says children who miss meals are two – four years behind children who never miss meals in school.  

“Of concern is that the most recent PISA results found 14 percent of New Zealand students did not eat at least once a week because of lack of money, compared to 8 percent of students on average across the OECD.”  

A dozen leaders in the education sector have signed onto the open letter, including unions and teaching associations. They include Mark Potter from NZEI Te Riu Roa, Vaughan Couillault from the Secondary Principals’ Association of NZ, Chris Abercrombie of the PPTA and Bruce Jepsen from Te Akatea.  

Naomii Seah

Naomii Seah is a writer and journalist from Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand. She enjoys crochet, painting, and a coffee or two at the beach. Her work can be found at The Spinoff, The Pantograph Punch, Stuff, and of course, School News NZ.
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Back to top button
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x