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Feed The Kids, Food in Schools, Government Policy, Hunger and Learning

Welcome to NZ, where a gang will feed the kids but government won’t…

It’s been 2 days since National, ACT and United Future voted down the Feed The Kids Bill, and I am still fluctuating between heartbroken and seething.

poverty-pass-it-onPeter Dunne smugly announced that it wouldn’t keep him from sleeping at night. Must be nice to have a stone where some of us have a heart, Peter – how proud you must be.

As for the Under-Secretary-for-Charter-Schools-and-Generally-Selling-off-our-Education-System-to-the-Private-Sector, said that “…in general from a Māori perspective, top down centralised solutions have never been very good for them.” Because, you know, only Maori kids are hungry, and he’s such an expert on all things Maori, being a rich white guy from Epsom.

So let’s turn to people who DO know about poverty. Who have lived it. Who aren’t just waffling to promote or protect their own careers. No, not teachers this time – let’s turn to a gang leader.

Jamie Pink is the president of the Tribal Huk gang. This gang runs a Feed The Kids operation of its own: “They are making sandwiches for kids at school who have nothing to eat. They make between 450 and 500 sandwiches every school day and deliver them to 25 Waikato schools in Hamilton, Ngaruawahia, Huntly – as far north as Rangiriri.”  They fund this themselves, and use either home-grown produce or bought goods, using 40 loaves a day (Coupland’s Bakery sells it to them for 90c a loaf – bless you, Coupland’s).

The Tribal Huks have been making and delivering sandwiches for two and a half years and haven’t missed a single day, reports Waikato Stuff.

This gang sees a need and meets it. They realise that kids learn far better if they are not hungry. They get that children will will see school as a far more positive experience if they are fed there.

“When I was little we had no food,” says Pink, “so I grew up a hungry little bugger and a bit angry, too.

“The main reason we’re doing this is because there’s a lot of hungry kids out there and it means a lot to be able to fill their little bellies up.”

And despite David Seymour’s ‘expert’ comments, it’s not only Maori bellies that need feeding.  When the gang heard of a child who could not eat their sandwiches as they weren’t halal, they made different sandwiches just for him.  Because whilst David Seymour thinks only Maori kids are going hungry, Pink knows different, and rather than wax lyrical his gang meet the need. Jam sandwiches it is, for as long as the lad needs them.

Will Pink stop? No. “‘There’s no stopping,” says Pink. ”There’s no, ‘Oh, I don’t feel well today, we’re not coming in.’ Nah, it don’t work like that. No way, no way. Because then you’d get that nightmare that those kids might not have been fed that day. Oh, that’s enough to keep you going.”

How shameful that failure to feed the kids would give Pink nightmares but doesn’t make Peter Dunne miss a wink.

And while Pink is delivering sandwiches daily, John Key maintains his wilful ignorance and refuses Metiria Turei’s invitation to visit a school in need of a food in schools programme.

What a bizarre and shameful situation for New Zealand that a gang understands hunger’s relationship to education better than those in government.


Read the full article here.

About Save Our Schools NZ

"One needs to be slow to form convictions, but once formed they must be defended against the heaviest odds." Gandhi


7 thoughts on “Welcome to NZ, where a gang will feed the kids but government won’t…

  1. Gangs like the one you show in the article are proof that there is still hope out there! Your neighbour Australia with (Lord) Tony Abbot is not any different, maybe even worse. They are attempting to unmount the whole social security system that they have had for decades now. The neoliberal State controlled by such elites is now a friend anymore, hence it is now our duty (The society and the communities) to bring about the change ourselves! Thanks for sharing.


    Posted by David Der Kaiser Caicedo | March 20, 2015, 6:22 am
  2. Overwhelming this kaupapa the tribal huks feeding our future generation tamariki very humbled by this as i have whanau in the huks and never knew of this till now big ups to them i tautoko this 100% and with the way the government is going we definitely need more people to get involved.


    Posted by kristle huirama | March 21, 2015, 1:08 am
  3. Use ya head people! You all moan when there’s a tax rise happening, and the only way this would be affordable for the country would be to increase your income tax. If the Government is to offer it to a percentage of children, it is only fair to offer it to all. We can’t afford this as a small Country. If you feel so strong in giving extra money away no one is stopping you. The Government is even generous enough to give you 30% off your charity donations back to you. The Ball is in Your Court.


    Posted by tim | March 23, 2015, 1:12 am
    • Tim – in this case it would likely save the government money by reducing the health and social issues that are associated with lack of food for kids. Agree those of us who care could also help reduce costs by coordinating/ helping prepare food etc to ensure more gets to the kids that need it.


      Posted by reannon | March 23, 2015, 4:50 pm
  4. what we all gotta remember its colonial govt thats doing this rubbish


    Posted by Antz | March 24, 2015, 12:28 pm
  5. I have just watched a program on Australian TV about the Tribal Huks and their inspirational president Jamie Pink. I felt humbled by the work these people are doing for their young people and the commitment they are showing. When I left NZ in 1987 gangs were to be feared. Now how times have changed when you see programs such as these running independentl of govt assistance. What a pity more Gangs of our society couldn’t provide sandwiches rather than the drugs and misery they peddle


    Posted by Linda sara | July 8, 2015, 2:26 am


  1. Pingback: Gang Feeds Kids So They Can Learn | anotherblognobodyreads - March 23, 2015

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