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Ardern announces free lunch programme for 30 schools - 'You simply can't learn distracted by an empty stomach'

Free lunch is being rolled out across 30 schools, as the Government looks to extend a programme that would see 21,000 kids given free lunch by 2021. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made the announcement today, with Year 1 to 8 students in the 30 schools set to receive lunch each day from term one, 2020. 

"That is a pure and simple issue," she said. "Do we want our kids to go hungry? The obvious answer is no.

"Children themselves told us during the consultation on the strategy that going to school hungry was a barrier to their learning. That was heart-breaking to hear and this prototype starts to ensure children are fed and have the best chance to succeed.

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The scheme kicks off in 30 schools next year. Source: 1 NEWS

"You simply can’t learn distracted by an empty stomach."

The Government want to extend the programme to 21,000 children in 120 schools by the start of 2021. 

"Fixing all the things that cause child poverty will take time, but one thing we can do straight away is make sure kids get at least one decent meal a day," Ms Ardern said. 

The lunch prototype was part of the Government's Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy launched today.

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It is starting in 30 schools, and is set to expand. Source: 1 NEWS