BIG NEWS: Our hungry kids - and our selfish parents

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Our hungry kids - and our selfish parents

Was watching this programme on Campbell Live where a beneficiary on $529 a week was spending not much more than $100 a week on food and didn’t have enough to feed his three kids. He didn’t send them to school some days because he couldn’t give them lunch as he had no food.

Yet not all parents who fail to give their kids breakfast are that hard up. I have kids. They get breakfast every day. They go to school and come home and tell me that many of their classmates don’t have breakfast.

It’s not that their parents can’t afford to give their kids breakfast, it’s just that they leave for work at 7.30am and drop their kids off to school and don’t want to get up earlier to give their kids breakfast.

So the kids miss out. And the parents no doubt have breakfast at work. This is unacceptable. It is also unacceptable that schools have to feed these kids when their parents either get Working for Families payments or are earning enough to get them over the cut-off threshold.

For parents who are on low incomes, it’s tough. Its even tougher on a benefit. But you can feed your kids porridge at about $50 every three months if you buy it in bulk. The biggest cost is the milk. If parents don’t want to do this for their kids to ensure they don’t miss out on breakfast – it’s called budgeting - there is something wrong with them. For those on benefits you can get a food grant from WINZ which will pay for nine month’s worth of porridge.

Kids should not go hungry because of parent’s poor choices. But they do. It is those parents who don’t have a choice that should get the assistance – such as the man on Campbell Live. Because he deserves it. In fact, if a lot more parents cared for their kids like this dad does,and fed their kids breakfast before work, our kids would be better off. But this man didn't appear to be applying for the assistance that is available from WINZ. He should.

And he doesn't eat porridge. But he does both need and deserve more support - and its good that he is getting it.

But none of it is from the government - its to make up for his substandard benefit income.

He even got a heater to heat his house. I'm so pleased.

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