Poverty is what needs to be addressed – not child poverty. Parents need to be taught that purchase of ‘luxury’ items when children go without basics is child neglect.
I want to add here that I spent 10 years working with true poverty overseas among the homeless (squattors).
The language being used by people over our ‘hungry’ children in NZ is silly. They are not as far as I have been made aware , ‘starving’. They go to school without eating breakfast. They are being fed the wrong diet.
My children did not eat breakfast before going to school. They are at university now and still choose not to eat what I would consider a proper breakfast, but then I was brought up on a farm where there were chores to be done before breakfast everyday. We enjoyed our breakfast.
As much as I do not want to put more work on teachers, I do think that identifying children who are hindered in their learning because of being hungry is/should be part of successful teaching practise.
Having a social worker attached to each school to follow up with the identified families would be much more helpful than blanket feeding programs.
If the families of these kids still continue their neglect, the social workers could have a budget to provide lunchbags to the said kids on arriving at school, until such time as the parents of said kids could be convinced one way or another to provide better for their children.
I can’t see why this is so difficult.
Sounds like a considered, sensible approach to me.