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Parliament to debate meals in schools bill

Friday 9 Nov 2012 6:55 a.m.

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A bill that would make schools in low income areas give children free breakfast and lunches is up for debate.

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira's member's bill has been drawn from the ballot and will go on the order paper for its first reading.

"Since I put my bill in the ballot back in August, Labour has come out in support, the Children's Commissioner's expert advisory group on child poverty has recommended free food in schools and I got a nice email of congratulations from the Greens today as well," he says.

"Providing meals at school has also been strongly supported by groups like Child Poverty Action as well as school principals and teachers around the country."

Mr Harawira says he will lobby for support from all the parties in Parliament, but the Government isn't likely to come on board.

Free meals in schools has been discussed in the past, and while ministers acknowledge some children go to school hungry they say not all of them do.

The bill is likely to be debated during the next three or four weeks.

NZN

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