The stupidity of free school lunches in every decile 1 to 4 school

January 27th, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Green policy to provide free (ie taxpayer funded) school lunches to all decile 1 to 4 primary schools is a woefully bad use of taxpayer money – even if one accepted that it is the state’s role to provide two out of three meals a day to school kids.

The own policy says only 9% of pupils at decile 1 to 4 schools go to school hungry. Their policy costings are based on only 9% of pupils in those schools wanting free lunches.

Are you kidding?

You think that if lunches are available for free, only 9% of families in those schools will ask for them? What world do they live in?

Their projected costs will double, treble and quadruple at least.

Taxpayers already fund school lunches for low income families. It is called Working for Families. Over $2.5 billion a year is given to families to cover the costs of breakfasts, lunches, dinners and more.

The cost of breakfast is about 40c a day for cereal. Lunch is around 60c to 80c for a couple of sandwiches.

But again, why stop at having the state just provide two meals a day to families. Just as kids can’t be expected to do well at school if they miss breakfast or lunch, how can you expect kids to do homework at night, if they possibly are missing dinner? Surely the Government must step in and start providing dinners also, in the name of solving inequality?

I also love (not) how the Greens sneer at the current programme that is mainly provided by Sanitarium and Fonterra as “corporate welfare“. Ummn, it is not corporate welfare, that is when corporates get welfare from the taxpayer. What Sanitarium and Fonterra do is called charitable giving. Sure they do it for brand reasons, but how depressing that a political party sees charitable giving as a bad thing. They think it is better to force taxpayers to fund the direct provision of two meals a day to families.

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46 Responses to “The stupidity of free school lunches in every decile 1 to 4 school”

  1. burt (7,842 comments) says:

    The unintended consequences will be parents from higher decile schools enrolling their children into lower decile schools to take advantage of this “handout”. What shoot from the hip social policy will the 2017 election have to counter the unintended consequences that this popularist power at any price policy will have ?

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  2. martinh (1,155 comments) says:

    Shes so fat, she should be setting an example instead of eating the worlds resources up herself.
    40cents for cereal, really, i didnt know porridge was a cereal.

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  3. RRM (9,478 comments) says:

    We had a hell of a job convincing our miss 9yo that the “breakfast club” at school is a charitable thing, provided by hard-working volunteers to help the kids with useless parents that don’t feed them, and it wasn’t really intended as a free second breakfast for her..

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  4. burt (7,842 comments) says:

    Next major policy announcement is a program in schools to reduce obesity … who’d have thunk that some kids would have breakfast at home and school plus eat their own lunch and the school provided one … Who’d have guessed ????

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  5. Harriet (4,534 comments) says:

    “….Taxpayers already fund school lunches for low income families. It is called Working for Families. Over $2.5 billion a year is given to families to cover the costs of breakfasts, lunches, dinners and more…”

    You couldn’t have put it any better DPF. :cool:

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  6. flipper (3,594 comments) says:

    Good stuff DPF….

    Now check out what J Key had to say about this on TV One this morning.

    Talking about the EXISTING programme, he said that within a few weeks of it being introduced there was a MARKED DROP OFF in uptake of the breakfasts.
    So demand is essentially novelty driven. Thereafter very low percentage use.

    It would be worth extracting all data he disclosed, but I did not note in any detail

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  7. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Go to twitter or any lefty blog and with this post DPf and watch the screaming and outrage that by not voting for this you are condemning children in NZ to starve, that’s right starve bloated bellies wandering naked on the streets shifting through garbage on the side of the road waiting for stamps and apple stickers from the islands so they can eat.

    The disinformation and deliberate denial by the left is sickening , the media are pushing it, I hope the Government is not complacent and starts to fire back like Hekia did last evening

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  8. seanmaitland (455 comments) says:

    I live and work in Papakura, where there are several decile 1 schools, and it is ‘allegedly’ one of the poorer parts of the country. Within 200m of the decile 1 schools there are clusters of shops, and without fail every day when I drive past before school, during lunch, or after 3pm the shops are overflowing with the decile 1 students, getting coke, chip, pies etc. After seeing this without fail for the last 3 years, every single school day of the year, it has become pretty obvious to me that this poverty that the Greens and Labour go on and on about is massively exaggerated.

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  9. srylands (387 comments) says:

    Then there is this in the Green policy document:

    “Higher decile schools could apply based on their individual needs. We know, for example, that in some larger decile 5 to 10 urban schools there can still be large numbers of children who would benefit from the scheme.”

    Free lunches for everyone :-)

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  10. RRM (9,478 comments) says:

    seanmaitland –

    we’d be pretty frigging impoverished if we gave our kid $8 for a coke, a pie and chips every day of the week!

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  11. kowtow (7,655 comments) says:

    What’s the fuss about,the Nats have already agreed to give ‘em breakfast.

    This is just more of the same.

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  12. burt (7,842 comments) says:

    kowtow

    Oh, right … Yes … It must be good social policy if National are doing it … MUPPET !!!!!

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  13. Simon (687 comments) says:

    permanent state dependency = permanent constituency.

    However crack pot ideas leading to ghettoisation of parts of NZ society from Labgreen was always going to happen after National has failed the country by not at least rolling back some of the welfare state.

    Remember ladies the crack pots take over from what National hand them. Blame that smiling cretin John Key for all the shit that is coming NZs way.

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  14. Mark (1,368 comments) says:

    So from the list of promises from each party so far this election is going to be who can fuck around with the education system the most.

    All I can go on is experience and whist it is not a perfect system by any stretch it has served our children well. It is not broken as National, Labour, the greens et al would like us to beleive and not all teachers are useless card carrying communists as some on this blog would like us to believe.

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  15. Harriet (4,534 comments) says:

    we’d be pretty frigging impoverished if we gave our kid $8 for a coke, a pie and chips every day of the week!

    Bullshit RRM – $40?

    How much does ya chardonny with salmon brioch cost ya each sunday morning…….and ya chai lattes with almond biscotti every working day? :cool:

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  16. Simon (687 comments) says:

    John Key has got to be the biggest jobsworth this country has ever produced.

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  17. burt (7,842 comments) says:

    Harriet

    You sound like a lefty … Denigrating people for how they spend their own money while agitating for more access to other peoples money for your own agenda… I’m picking you’re a card carrying socialist.

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  18. RRM (9,478 comments) says:

    How much does ya chardonny with salmon brioch cost ya each sunday morning…….and ya chai lattes with almond biscotti every working day? :cool:

    What pointless BS… Fuckwit, I can’t believe I’m even bothering to type this…

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  19. Cunningham (821 comments) says:

    The way the left twists this whole issue makes me sick. Surely people can see through the massive flaws in their policies? Surely??? If NZ votes these guys in with Labour, it will all end in tears. Maybe it is a lesson we need to learn (like Australia has).

    RRM
    “We had a hell of a job convincing our miss 9yo that the “breakfast club” at school is a charitable thing”

    I have heard the same things at work from colleagues whose children were getting breakfast without them knowing. At least now it is provided by companies but we will as taxpayers will have to bend over if these turkeys get in. Amazing that their hatred of business is so strong that they would tell Fonterra and Sanitarium to fuck off even when it is them paying.

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  20. backster (2,082 comments) says:

    David you are a meanie, haven’t you seen all the skinny emaciated kids round the street waiting to go back to school so they can get their first breakfast and lunch for 6 weeks. Anyway the savings made by not having to give the kids breakfast or lunch will now be able to be applied to the Greens twin reform legalised cannabis.

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  21. burt (7,842 comments) says:

    Cunningham

    It’s possible that some people at Fonterra earn more than a beneficiary – it’s got to be stopped !!!!!!

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  22. iMP (2,247 comments) says:

    This is cereal policy nonsense at its most milky. I’d say the Greens are toast come Nov.

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  23. dime (9,473 comments) says:

    “Maybe it is a lesson we need to learn (like Australia has).” – the scary thing is labour are polling well over there..

    this is like karma for all the LOL’s at aussies expense over the last few years. our own version is coming and its just as scary.. actually its worse, we dont have mining.

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  24. iMP (2,247 comments) says:

    Lets legalise marijuana. The Green vote will go down, their constituency will be unmotivated to vote, or will forget.

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  25. burt (7,842 comments) says:

    iMP

    No, they will all be at school every morning with the munchies eating the free food !

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  26. MT_Tinman (2,995 comments) says:

    Having considered this for, hell, all of 30 seconds at least, I’m in favour of feeding children at school.

    I’m not in favour of paying for it though so expect the full cost (labour, transport etc. not just the cost of the food ingredients) is subtracted from the money I pay to the parents by way of benefits, WWF etc.

    re-redistribution of earner’s wealth if you wish ;-)

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  27. flipper (3,594 comments) says:

    flipper (3,040 comments) says:

    January 27th, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Good stuff DPF….

    Now check out what J Key had to say about this on TV One this morning.

    Talking about the EXISTING programme, he said that within a few weeks of it being introduced there was a MARKED DROP OFF in uptake of the breakfasts.
    So demand is essentially novelty driven. Thereafter very low percentage use.

    It would be worth extracting all data he disclosed, but I did not note in any detail

    ****
    UPDATE…UPDATE

    WHAT J KEY SAID WAS:

    “There has now been quite a lot of research done on the existing breakfast programme for Dec 1 and Dec 2 schools.”

    “When the programme started it was offered to ALL pupils, but there was only a 50 uptake.>/b>

    “Within a month that had dropped to 15%, and in some cases LESS.

    Just green crap … SUPPORTED BY CUNNERS minus T and those creepy little pricks at TV1 and TV3.

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  28. Harriet (4,534 comments) says:

    RRM #

    “…..we’d be pretty frigging impoverished if we gave our kid $8 for a coke, a pie and chips every day of the week!…”

    C’mon RRM…you and I have one child at school[..no not ours...yep...I new your wife :cool: ]….I’m not saying that you should buy your daughter lunch everyday…….but $40 a week ain’t going to bust your budget….living in Wellington….home owner…..dual income…..

    You arn’t that hard done by!

    “…..What pointless BS… Fuckwit, I can’t believe I’m even bothering to type this…”

    ….crying poor….LOL…..pointless bullshit…. :cool:

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  29. bramble (2 comments) says:

    A decile 1 school ( approx. 100 pupils) I visit every week , had 3 or 4 children turning up to school not having had breakfast most days. They introduced a breakfast club and 80 children turned up for breakfast for the first week or so. Children told me it was like being at Hogwarts School from the Harry Potter books. The novelty then wore off and the school was back to feeding the same 3 or 4 children . Children I spoke to said they (and their parents) had to get out of bed too early, in order to get to school if they wanted to attend breakfast club so they ate breakfast at home.

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  30. Manolo (13,400 comments) says:

    Am I alone in hating Turei’s nasal voice and condescending/patronising tone?
    The fat Luddite should take some elocution lessons.

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  31. MT_Tinman (2,995 comments) says:

    Electrocution lessons would be better Manolo. :-)

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  32. holysheet (271 comments) says:

    Poverty in New Zealand? Never read so much shit.
    Its a case of bad parenting.
    The money from WFF is there to cover all the cost of raising kids. If you cannot afford to feed and raise your kids, Don’t have them!!!

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  33. ciaron (1,318 comments) says:

    Manolo @ 12:12,
    Staying in character for the next big LARP gathering perhaps?

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  34. cha (3,779 comments) says:

    The stupidity of free school lunches in every decile 1 to 4 school

    As stupid as giving millions to a private school, and one of the largest landowners in the city, which requires day students who could take a packed lunch to school to pay a lunch fee.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/editorials/9585405/Editorial-Rescued-school-must-obey-rules

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  35. dime (9,473 comments) says:

    “Am I alone in hating Turei’s nasal voice and condescending/patronising tone?
    The fat Luddite should take some elocution lessons.”

    I try to keep looks/personality out of it when making a voting decision… but goddam.

    she may be the ugliest person ive seen in years.

    she has no redeeming qualities. just dog ugly. god knows why they dress it in bright colours. urgh.

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  36. rouppe (919 comments) says:

    Because the Greens are so wound up by minimum nutrition standards in schools, then the lunch cannot consist of standard bread (too much sugar), so needs to be vogels or molenburg. No cheese, too much fat content. No ham, in case the child is Muslim. No peanut butter in case of allergy.

    I wonder what the menu will be…?

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  37. Paulus (2,503 comments) says:

    Can I ask how many of those Decile 1-4 children’s ??parents?? actually pay tax from which the costs of food can be included.
    I doubt if there are any positive taxpayers amongst them so anything is free.

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  38. jakejakejake (135 comments) says:

    yes paulus…we need to be grinding up their scum bag parents into Soylent Green to feed the hungry babbies then sell their spawn to Talley’s, PoA etc to replace union workers.

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  39. dime (9,473 comments) says:

    rouppe – i wondered the same thing.

    i tweeted yesterday (that sounds so gay) that i hoped the greens had remembered to cater for the likes of 6 year old transgender vegan girls..

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  40. RightNow (6,676 comments) says:

    My kids go to a decile 4 primary school. Our household income is over $200k but the school is close and has proved very good. I wouldn’t be opposed to dropping the kids there early so they could have breakfast. Not only would it be a tiny rebate on our taxes, it would mean I could get to work early and get some time back at the end of the day. More time, more money. I still don’t want greens in government though.

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  41. flipper (3,594 comments) says:

    Paulus (2,148 comments) says:

    January 27th, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    Can I ask how many of those Decile 1-4 children’s ??parents?? actually pay tax
    ****

    Bugger all. They get back MORE THAN THEY PAY.

    But, Heh….don’t spoil a wimp , wimp fiction :-)

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  42. RightNow (6,676 comments) says:

    rouppe: “No ham…”

    I would expect only vegan meals would be allowed. The kids would still be hungry.

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  43. Rich Prick (1,557 comments) says:

    Good grief, you would hope an education policy would, like you know, focus on education rather than the contents of stomaches.

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  44. nickb (3,662 comments) says:

    Stupid idea no doubt, and a colossal waste of poorly targeted taxpayer funds.

    But is it any worse than paying $40m plus for a rich guy’s boat race?

    Or giving favourable tax breaks to narrow sectors of the community?

    Or failing to close the massive taxation black hole which is residential property?

    If David Cunliffe, Labour and the Greens had any political nous they would surely be hammering home these 3 things, among others, whilst forcefully explaining how hungry kids (being a small minority as we now know) lead to worse educational outcomes.

    What would kiwi people really think is the bigger waste of taxpayer’s money? I think I know the answer to that…

    Instead they prepare a state of the nation speech on the day of the Grammys and fight internal conflicts over gender quotas.

    Opposition indeed.

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  45. Rowan (1,797 comments) says:

    Another stupid idea by surprise surprise, the greens, just another piece of stupidity like their legalising pot stance. A way of ensuring they will not gain popularity or any/many seats in 2014

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  46. Bikersteve (2 comments) says:

    There are a number of observations on this Green policy
    1 zoning is good, as if your are poor, you should be attending a decile 1 to 4 school to get the free school lunch
    2 will children be fed in the holidays? if so where?
    3 the set up costs for schools would be high
    4 for small schools who would manage this, it should not be the teaching staff unless can have lunch at another time.

    If lunch is to be provided it should be provided at all schools to ensure that children are adequately fed. However, from observation most pupils would prefer to be able chose their own lunch.

    Like most Green policies it may sound attractive for some but would be costly and impractical for most. The cost of implementing this is too high and continues the socialist vendetta against poor students attending a high or middle decile school.

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