A Better Start National Science Challenge funded the research that the team at EIT completed looking into the effectiveness of the Ka Ora Ka Ako Healthy School Lunch Programme, and while it is a relief the Government has committed to two more years of funding for the programme, the $107m cut for intermediate and secondary school lunches is a huge step backwards, say two professors. David Tipene Leach and Boyd Swinburn.

“But the pre-Budget announcement was primarily a money saving exercise. The $107m cut for intermediate and secondary school lunches is a huge step backwards,” Professor Swinburn says.

Prof Tipene-Leach says there is clear evidence of benefit around relief from hunger, better nutrition, improved attendance at school, improved mental health and reduction of barriers to education.

“It is hard to imagine how the nutrition standard of food can remain when funding is slashed by more than half.”

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Prior to the Government’s decision A Better Start put out this webinar, to watch “What’s the Evidence that Free School Lunches are Worth Investing In?”   Click:Watch now

About the webinar: There has been much speculation in the media about the benefits of free Healthy School Lunches. So here is your chance to hear the facts from three expert researchers: Kelly Garton, PhDPippa McKelvie-Sebileau and Boyd Swinburn, when it comes to the health, wellbeing and learning of our tamariki, and how the free Healthy School Lunches programmes really stacks up!

Kelly Garton : What have we seen, and what can we expect? Connecting observed outcomes to internationally evaluated impacts
Pippa McKelvie-Sebileau: Impact of hunger on NZ students’ learning: Evidence from large-scale international assessments
Professor Boyd Swinburn: Ka Ora, Ka Ako – Value for Investment

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