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Calls for low decile schools to stay open over summer break so kids stay fed


The summer school holidays are already getting underway for some Kiwi kids but that doesn’t mean fun, presents and good food for everyone.

For some, it means missing out on nutritious meals.

Now there are calls for low decile schools to stay open so that children have a place to play and food to eat.

Lizzy Lockhart, a teacher at Papatoetoe West Primary School says every time the holidays are mentioned many children become worried because they know they will be facing a hard time of the year.

"It’s hard because there’s not much you can do outside of school hours to change that for them," she says.

The school supplies children with nourishing meals from the ‘Food for Schools Program’ but during the holidays it's a different story.

Now an idea from teachers at low decile schools is to keep the schools open so kids have access to safe play areas and healthy
food.

Principal of Auckland’s Tamaki College, Soana Pamaka, says they want to be resourced to keep the school open so kids can come and be fed and do activities.

One group, Connect Supporting Recovery, is offering help thanks to funding from the  Auckland District Health Board.

The group is helping kids from Tamaki College in a programme to boost peer support in students.

Others want to lend their support.

KidsCan Chief Executive Julie Chapman says they are ready and willing to lend a hand to any schools wanting extra support during the holiday period.

With soaring demand for assistance, Work and Income have declined over twenty thousand food grant applications in the year to March, however the minister for social development, Carmel Sepuloni, says emergency food grants will be available over the holidays. 

Teachers say it's proof of a growing need which must be addressed. 

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The holidays doesn’t mean presents and good food for everyone. Source: 1 NEWS