Stuff repeating fiction as fact

Stuff reports:

has gone beyond the role of pop princess and is speaking out to help Kiwi kids in need.

The singer posted an image on Instagram of lunches from Eat My Lunch, a start-up run by award-winning chef Michael Meredith and Auckland woman Lisa King. 

For every lunch ordered through the service, another is provided for a child who can’t afford their own.

A great initiative, and cool to see Ella supporting it. But the part of the story which is wrong is:

It is estimated one in four children in New Zealand live in poverty and go without lunch every day.

One can debate the correct definition of poverty, but let’s put that to one side. The assertion (reported as fact) that one in four kids go without lunch every day is wrong. It was an assertion made by Metiria Turei which has been debunked. I blogged in March on this.

KidsCan said that in the 449 schools it works with, 23% of kids need lunch every day on average. There are 2,500 schools in NZ, so this is 23% of the 20% of schools that have a problem (and hence KidsCan is involved with).

That 23% of 20% is around 4% of kids overall. So it is one in 20, not one in four.

Now one in 20 is too many, and that’s why it is great we have charities there helping kids whose parents aren’t providing lunches. But there is a big difference between one in 20 and one in four.

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