On 8 November, 2012, MANA leader Hone Harawira's Feed the Kids Bill was drawn in Aotearoa/New Zealand's Parliament. It asks the government to feed 100,000 hungry kids in decile one and two schools. In June Parliament will decide whether to support the Bill or not.
Together we can make it happen. Visit and download the track from www.feedthekids.org.nz to find out how you can help.
I want to say this.
It absolutely horrifies me that children in this country go to school without having eaten breakfast, often without any lunch. Our children shouldn't be hungry. There is no need for it. And it is really easy for people to jump up and down and blame the parents - that's what a lot of people do. Without thought for the bigger picture. Okay I know there are parents out there who, for whatever reason, don't take proper responsibility for their kids but I will argue that these people are a really small percentage in our country as they always have been.
What is different from times past, is the ever-widening gap between the very rich (like John Key for example, in his mansion up in Auckland) and the low-waged people and those that have no jobs at all. And those people in Canterbury, by the way, who are paying huge rents for broken houses that are costing a fortune to heat. Not leaving a lot in the budget for food. Imagine the juggling act. Do we pay the rent? Or do we heat the house? Or do we feed the kids? How do we manage all this? Do we go to the local Food Bank for help and after a few times they might say, you should be budgeting better? With what, the parents might say?
There's been plenty of times in my past when I have stayed in the house on a winter's day without heat, only turning the heater on half an hour before the kids were due home from school. It's no fun, believe me.
How long do people think a box of cereal might last, if you have 4 or five hungry kids? You hear people say these things, cereal's cheap. Or a loaf of bread. No it's not. And it's a crime when milk is dearer than coca cola (which has no nutritional value whatsoever) in our country which is overloaded with dairy farms for crying out loud. People overseas pay less for milk produced in Aotearoa/New Zealand than us Kiwis do.
The MANA Party say "feeding the kids should be our first priority as a nation". And they are right.