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Charity targets more schools

With a new school year about to begin, KidsCan is expanding its programme which provides thousands of Kiwi kids, including some from Wairarapa, with food, clothing and health basics.

Seventeen of the nation’s lower decile schools are set to benefit through the charity’s programme, which already supports 600 schools by providing food, raincoats, shoes, and basic health and hygiene items.

In Wairarapa, Lakeview School in Masterton has been part of the programme since 2008.

Featherston School has been a member since 2015 and Mauriceville School signed up last year.

KidsCan programmes are now provided in 58 per cent of all decile 1-4 primary, intermediate and high schools in New Zealand.

When KidsCan surveyed its partner schools in 2016, 75 per cent reported the most common food issue they faced was children arriving at school without having had breakfast and without any lunch for the day.

The top two issues are nutrition/hunger and head lice infestations, with oral hygiene and skin infections being third equal.

Figures released by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner in December 2016, indicate that more than one quarter of Kiwi kids are living in hardship despite recent improvements in the economy.

Approximately 155,000 New Zealand children live in households that go without seven or more things they need, which could include going without adequate food, suitable shoes and clothing, sufficient heating and visits to the doctor.

The charity is looking for more New Zealanders to support a child in need — just 50 cents a day can provide a child with food at school, a raincoat, shoes, socks and health and hygiene items.

The KidsCan Food for Kids programme assists more than 21,000 children a week.

The support of its donors has enabled the charity, since it began in 2005, to distribute over 17 million food items, over 250,000 raincoats, 114,749 pairs of shoes, 229,558 pairs of socks, and 351,044 health and hygiene products.

KidsCan’s Nit Buster programme treats head lice in 110 schools and has performed 28,000 treatments in the past two years.


Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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