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  1. #1
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    Default Is poverty a good enough excuse, in Australia, to not feed your children

    breakfast or lunch? I mean, sending them to school without anything in their lunchbox?

    There is a radio station that is collecting money for an organisation that runs breakfast clubs in low socioeconomic areas. Which is great, because whatever reason a child is not fed breakfast, it isn't their fault.

    But I can't seem to understand how someone could send their kid to school without anything at all in their lunch box. I know times are tough and Centrelink is not heaps, but surely it is enough to buy a $1 loaf of bread from Coles. Baked beans are less than $1 (cheap brand), you can usually get a bag of pasta for next to nothing. Surely a couple of slices bread with vegemite isnt worth a fortune.

    Or is it because parents arent educated to know how to feed a family on the cheap?

    Im really interested in people's answers, because I am genuinely intrigued by how this can happen, in this country.

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    I think it's about more than just money.

    Some kids have to catch two buses to get to school as well as getting their siblings ready and out the door, so they don't have time for breakfast.

    Other households could have parents with addictions where having food available for their children isn't a priority

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    I work in a school that has free breakfast club, free apples at recess and free sandwiches for lunch. Usually, it's the same kids over and over who come to school with no food.

    Really, it's not that parents don't want to feed their kids. It's a lot to do with management. When it's payday, these kids get $10 to buy recess and get a lunch order. Then when the money's spent, it's back to free sandwiches until the next pay.

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    It's usually more than just poverty. Drugs, gambling, mental health issues, other illness, abuse...

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    There are lots of reasons. I know loads of recently arrived refugee kids whose parents do seasonal fruit picking, so there are huge stretches of time where there isn't an adult in the house, at all. An aunty or older cousin may be nominated to be there, so the kids can say 'auntie sue is looking after us' but they're actually left alone. So they don't bother with lunches and just get a bag of chips and some 2 minute noodles on the way home with the money their parents have left them.
    Some kids live with parents who are not well enough either mentally or physically to look after them enough to pack them a lunch.
    Some months the fridge breaks down and the family must live on what's in the pantry because there's not enough money for groceries after a new fridge is purchased.
    Some kids parents go to work so early, or sleep in after a night shift and the kids are meant to get their own lunch but don't.
    There's lots of reasons. I'm sure a teacher could give you 10 more without thinking about it.
    Sorry if I mis-read but did you say you can understand why a kid might go without breakfast, but can't understand why they come to school with no lunch? What's the difference?

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    And yeah I agree with BRV re. mismanagement. There's a single dad who lives in the estate near me, a lovely guy who loves his little girl. I always see them at the milk bar buying cans of soup and lollies. He probably spends $15 for dinner when he does that. They could eat so so much better for so much cheaper, but he obviously doesn't have the skills to do that.

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    There's no excuse as such, but a lot if the time it's alcoholic, drug addicted, gambling addicted parents who put their addiction ahead of the basics. My school has had breakfast clubs and they're fantastic.

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    Not all families in Australia have access to Centrelink.

    I help a charity out with a bread run some nights and we drop off to so many families that are existing off of their FTB alone, which often doesn't even cover the rent.

    I'm personally in favour of school lunches being supplied to all students, if kids are well fed (healthily), they learn better and if a child is coming to school with no lunch, then that's almost always beyond their control.

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    In England they have free lunches for kids.

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    I have a fussy eater who would rather take nothing to school as I won't allow him to take too much junk.

    God only knows what his teacher thinks:/


 

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