Monday, June 20, 2022

KidsCan launches urgent appeal as record number of children need support.

“Whānau are at breaking point… no water for weeks, no power, no petrol to bring their children to school.”
““The burden to help often falls on teachers’ shoulders. Before children can learn, they need to be fed and warm.''”

Vulnerable children are bearing the brunt of the cost-of-living crisis, with teachers in schools and early childhood centres supported by KidsCan reporting increasing concerns for their wellbeing. The charity has seen a spike in applications for help, with more than two thousand children on its waitlist. It has launched an urgent appeal to help feed children as winter hits.

 

“Whānau are at breaking point… no water for weeks, no power, no petrol to bring their children to school. We have not had 100% attendance all year. Luckily there’s KidsCan and lunch in schools because for many of them, that's their main source of kai,” one principal wrote.  

 

Staff were seeing a change in behaviour, with students overreacting to minor situations, or ‘not even wanting to try.’ “Our teachers are exhausted.”

 

One early childhood centre reported an increasing number of babies being enrolled as new mothers are forced back to work early. Staff are picking up children each morning so families can save petrol for the weekend. Another centre is paying the power for a family who has lost an income. Teachers are digging into their own pockets to help where they can.

KidsCan is now supporting more than 1000 schools and early childhood centres nationwide, helping to feed a record 44,000 children every day. Thousands more in 19 schools and 52 early childhood centres (ECEs) are waiting for help. Seven schools applied for support in one week alone in April, as inflation hit a 30-year high, and requests for hot meals are up 33% on last term. 

 

The cost-of-living crisis is also affecting donations, with the number of monthly donors – which charities rely on for sustained support – dropping for the first time in KidsCan’s 17-year history.

 

KidsCan has launched an urgent appeal as winter hits, asking the public to donate just $15 for the 15% of children in New Zealand who live with food insecurity. $15 will feed a child for a week with a nutritious breakfast of baked beans, bread, spreads, fruit and yoghurt, and morning tea of trail mix, snack bars and fruit pottles. The charity is able to source its items at low cost thanks to discounts from suppliers. The campaign is supported by KidsCan's principal partner, Meridian Energy.

 

“Families on low incomes are doing it tougher than ever before,” KidsCan’s founder and CEO Julie Chapman says. “They can’t absorb the rising cost of living, and by the end of the week the food runs out. It’s an awful way to live.

 

“The burden to help often falls on teachers’ shoulders. Before children can learn, they need to be fed and warm. We’ve seen a spike in schools and early childhood centres asking for support, but with our monthly donations dropping for the first time, we need more help. We’re asking everyone who can afford it to donate just $15 to help feed the children we support and reach those waiting for help more quickly. These kids deserve nothing less.”

 

To donate visit: www.15for15.org.nz 

““Families on low incomes are doing it tougher than ever before,” KidsCan’s founder and CEO Julie Chapman says. “They can’t absorb the rising cost of living, and by the end of the week the food runs out.''”