The Red Cross's announcement today of a breakfast in schools programme shows how wrong Labour was to criticise National's drive to make sure children in low decile schools don't go hungry, says National Party Leader John Key.
"I announced National's plans for a Food in Schools programme during my State of the Nation speech at Burnside in January.
"Helen Clark criticised the speech and claimed an underclass didn't exist.
"But National is committed to providing practical solutions to problems which Helen Clark says are a fiction. One of those problems is supplying food to students who arrive at some of our schools hungry.
"As I said in the speech, it's a fact that kids can't and don't learn if they are constantly hungry.
"After the speech I got approaches from various companies and other organisations, and I decided that National wouldn't wait to do something positive about this problem and match food offers with needy schools.
"Today's announcement by Red Cross is another example of the community approach to this issue that I was advocating. The Red Cross scheme has been trialed at two schools in Manukau and is now going nationwide to all decile one primary schools which don't already have a food scheme.
"The Red Cross says about 10% of children show up for classes without having eaten, and some are famished on a Monday because they haven't eaten anything all weekend.
"Our kids deserve better, and I applaud the Red Cross' approach.
"In government, National will be backing just such programmes."Tweet