East and Bays Courier : October 10th 2012
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Carlton is loaded with all the features for relaxing good night sleep & no roll together. 50 off Beds Carlton offers true comfort &timeless quality Carlton is a rich mixture of luxurious Carlton offers true comfort & timeless quality Carlton is a rich mixture of luxurious upto % * SAVE $1100 upto CARLTON 589 $ Mattress Only Queen * APRIL UNTIL 787 $ Base+Mattress Queen 5YrsWrntyExclusivetoWestlife Wairau Park - Henderson - Avondale - Silverdale - Takanini - Tauranga MANUKAU 57k Cavendish Drive Opp. The Warehouse 09-263-5069 ONEHUNGA 310 Onehunga Mall Rd Corner of Grey St Ph: 09 636 8854 Hungry kids – food for thought Government wallet-holder Bill English may have his doubts but there’s living proof that things actually were better in the good old days. Yes it was in Britain, but in the grim years after the war when the going was even tougher than it is here now – and more families were in need. Here the timing is right as the Government hints at more help for children who need it. Which sounded great until I got down to the fine print – one of those minister of finance throw- away lines from Bill. He ques- tioned the accepted statistics, pointing to a recent survey that appeared to show only 3 to 4 per cent of children are arriving at school hungry. Only four in every hundred! Are we supposed to be pleased? Bill English went on: “I don’t think it’s correct that tens of thousands of kids are turn- ing up for school without break- fast. But there’s no doubt that when they do, they’re not in great shape to learn.” When were you last hungry, so much so that you couldn’t get your sums right, Bill? If there was no breakfast what – if any – did they carry for lunch and what were the prospects for dinner? The minister went on his rather guarded way with this PC proviso: “We are willing to grapple with that problem without setting out to undermine the efforts and the sense of responsibility that most parents have for their children.” Get a life, Bill. We’re not talk- ing about most parents, we’re talking about what you might call a major minority of children who for part or most of their day are starving. Maybe a letter in the mailbag might give you food for thought. It’s from Ron Durham of Torbay – not an unfamiliar name in this column. This time, he’s liv- ing proof on what can and has been done for these kids in the past. He leads with praise for a worthwhile project at Putaruru school where $1 meals are boost- ing kids’ health. “Too many New Zealand school- children turn up at school without having had a breakfast or without a lunchbox or money to buy same. Even if a piece of pizza was avail- able it would be more enjoyable if it was heated up. (My grand- daughters’ school can’t even make a microwave oven available to their students). “I started my own secondary schooling in London in September 1945. The country was ‘bankrupt’ after six years of war. “But the new Labour govern- ment, led by Clement Atlee, ensured that we all had free milk and hot (two-course) sit-down lunches. “Food was supplied from a cen- tral city kitchen and distributed to schools within a set of large ther- mos flasks. Each school only had to share it out, using part-time kitchen staff. “I wonder how our politicians would react if Bellamys suddenly served only cold food – or even closed down! Heads would roll! “I guess that our minister of education feels quite replete, as she returns to the benches, post- lunch. How many consultants would she have to dismiss to enable sufficient funding to be diverted to feeding our kids? “Perhaps she could persuade Corrections to ask prisoners to forgo their lunches. “It’s a national scandal that a country globally known for its large-scale production and mar- keting of food (including dairy products), cannot seem to afford to fill our kids’ bellies, at school. “Even Winston Churchill, far from being labelled ‘a Socialist’, was declaring (as long ago as in 1943, in wartime): ‘There is no finer investment for any com- munity than putting milk into babies’. “Thank you, sir, for ensuring that I still retain 90 per cent of my natural teeth, at the (healthy) age of 79. (Sugar-rich lollies were rationed for an extra 10 years, after the war).” Thanks Ron, that’s real food for thought. Another English war- time child tells how all children to age five got free orange juice and free milk at home. When Marga- ret Thatcher ended the free milk in her cost-cutting measures she earned the nickname “Snatcher Thatcher”!
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