1,661 kids waiting for KidsCan help as school starts

1,661 kids waiting for KidsCan help as school starts

Monday, January 18, 2016

With the new school year about to begin KidsCan has 14 more schools and 1,661 children from the Coromandel to Christchurch waiting to benefit from its support programmes.

 

KidsCan will now be making food, raincoats, shoes and basic health and hygiene products available to more than 114,000 children at 530 low decile schools around New Zealand. This means KidsCan programmes will be available to more than a third of children living in hardship. However the ten year old charity is still seeing the need for its support services increasing.

According to the latest figures released by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, there are still 305,000 (2 in 5) Kiwi kids living in hardship despite recent improvements in the economy. A significant contributing factor is the cost of housing, with many families spending more than 60% of their income on rent which leaves not enough for food and other essentials such as petrol and clothing.

KidsCan CEO and Founder Julie Chapman says: “We all have a responsibility to ensure our communities and the children in them can thrive and have the chance to grow into contributing members of society. Our future productivity depends on these children making the most of their educational opportunities.

 

“While it is heartening that the government is increasing benefit rates this year and is also continuing to support programmes like ours, the need is such that it requires an ongoing increased response from all of us.”

 

Two years ago the average number of children needing food support from KidsCan in lower deciles schools was around 15% but has since risen to more than 20%.

 

Meeting the extra costs incurred at ‘Back to School’ time can be stressful for low income families, and KidsCan is looking for more caring Kiwis to support a child in need for $15 a month (50 cents a day) through its ‘In Our Own Backyard’ programme. Regular donations of just $15 per month provide a child with food at school, a raincoat, shoes, socks and basic health and hygiene items. “Importantly,” says Chapman, “the entire 100% of all donated funds go towards meeting the needs of the children.”

 

The current KidsCan ‘Food for Kids’ programme assists more than 17,000 children a week, thanks to generous funding from Government, individual donors, Trusts and Foundations, Corporate Partners and Principal Partner Meridian Energy.

 

The support of its donors enabled KidsCan to distribute 2,483,806 food items, 42,517 raincoats, 23,605 pairs of shoes, 47,210 pairs of socks, 92,778 health and hygiene products, and treat 10,522 children for head lice last year.

 

For more information on how to support the KidsCan ‘In Our Own Backyard’ programme go to www.kidscan.org.nz