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Campbell Live

Empty fridges highlight Kiwi poverty

Monday 1 Sep 2014 7:34 p.m.

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This Friday, Campbell Live is holding its second lunchbox day to provide hot lunches and vegetable gardens in schools. 

You can donate by texting 'lunch' to 2448 for an automatic $3 donation – the whole $3 will go to KidsCan. The amount raised will be announced at the end of Campbell Live on Friday September 5. 

But why is all of this needed? 

Hundreds of thousands of New Zealand children are going to school hungry in a country whose export wharves are groaning under the weight of a tidal wave of milk, butter, cheese, wine, apples and lamb. 

By any measure it's a disgrace, but it's also a disaster for the country as a whole. Without a decent education, a child is unlikely to grow up and become a productive member of society. 

The opposite, with all the pain and danger that comes with it, is much more likely. 

Over the past two years Campbell Live has repeatedly drawn attention to this problem, but the reality is that almost 250,000 kids still live in poverty. 

It's a statistic that's painfully hard to fathom - could that much poverty really exist in this beautiful land of milk and honey? 

Two years ago we asked an unsuspecting decile one and a decile 10 class of year six students in Auckland to show us their lunch boxes – the results were shocking. 

So what's changed since then? 

We decided to carry out another social experiment, this time looking inside the fridges of families across the country. 

At six schools it was the kids themselves who photographed their fridges, and again, the emptiness was disturbing. 

*If you would like to help in other ways, KidsCan is looking for volunteers for their national canned food drive. 

Watch the full report from Tristram Clayton.

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