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Free lunches

That photo last week of the government’s free lunch at Kaitaia Primary School was heartbreaking.





It was half-a-cup of canned spaghetti in a polystyrene box with a little grated cheese on top. It was cold. It was two hours late.


The kids at Kaitaia Primary were supposed to eat that. And be grateful.


In a half-decent society those responsible would be fired from the top down. That’s child abuse.


I am powerless. I can’t fix it. And so I turned my rage into an educational opportunity. "Eww! That's disgusting!" was my kids’ response.


I took them to McDonalds. Over a cheese burger I asked them the difference.


The ten year old knew. Profit. If McDonald's doesn't provide what you want, they go bust. They certainly wouldn’t survive dishing out cold spaghetti two hours late. Only the government can get away with that.


And why?


Oh Government doesn’t have to earn your money. It just takes it. Or prints it -- which is the same thing.


So the government bullies the money out of you? Yes. You have no choice.


What about the sourdough Dad bakes? Oh you do that because you love us.


And there you have the three reasons people help others: they’re bullied, they’re paid, or they love.


Love is powerful but doesn’t reach far. My love doesn’t make it down the street. I wouldn’t make lunch for every kid in the street. And nor clearly does anyone else.


But profit is powerful: it reaches right around the world and back again. The people and businesses involved in making the cheeseburgers we enjoyed are all over the world and are unknowable. Most don’t even know they’re in the cheeseburger business. Think of the person making the sandwiches at the camp mining the ore needed for the circuit boards that power the lighting at McDonalds. They’re involved in making the cheeseburger we enjoyed and they don’t even know it.


They don’t do it for their love of us. They do it because they love their family. That’s the power of profit and prices.


I doubt the Kaitaia kids received the lesson: their principal Mr Brendon Morrissey called the late lunch a "hiccup". All they got out of it was a cold rubbish lunch two hours late.


It was the same for me at school. We had free government milk that was always warm and often sour. We tipped it down the drain. It was only years later that I learnt why no one bothered to keep the milk cool.


My kids know why now. They are well ahead of me. They are ahead of the government. It’s not just that they are smart. They have had the help of the Tuttle Twins!



2,544 views34 comments

34 Comments


Raleigh Wells
Raleigh Wells
May 30, 2021

I agree,cold spaghetti with cheese on top is not as wholesome as a fast food, However being a taxpayer I believe this smacks of sick nanny-ism. Taxindy (Cindy), can wring her hands and smile with forward facing teeth, so as to appease those parents who are incapable or wanting to support and care for their children. I guess the money saved by these unworthy parents will go towards propping up the tobacco, liquor and gaming industry, so the government will get some money back and the impoverished taxpayer will eventually support these so called underprivileged people in prisons, who will then blame poor potty training or how the welfare state let them down or the other bandied about narrative that…

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mike.lowe
mike.lowe
May 21, 2021

Aren't benefits calculated to cover the cost of food for the kids? So now the taxpayer is paying twice. And that applies to many who are working and getting Working For Families too. When they first started School Dinners in the UK, we were expected to pay a relatively small sum each week to cover the cost. If these NZ school lunches had to be paid for, however small the payment, then they might be appreciated more. And the recipients would be more inclined to complain at the quality.

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Replying to

I agree...

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John Fraser
John Fraser
May 20, 2021

Dinosaurs, not feeling the love for Labor

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adrian.1
adrian.1
May 18, 2021

An example of the new 5% procurement policy.

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alanw
alanw
May 18, 2021

How about teaching the kids to make their own lunches? That way those with useless parents will learn something useful.

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Chasse Court
Chasse Court
May 18, 2021
Replying to

Exactly start home economics classes earlier, I learned home ec at intermediate, not that my mum was a useless parent but 11 months after I started she had a stroke and I had her, my sister and myself to plan meals and cook for, my sister who was older didn't have a clue and could burn water. Actually turned out that I got quite good at it. It never hurts to be able to cook for ones self.


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