National | Education

Winter 'worst time' for families living in hardship - KidsCan CEO

As winter arrives, children's charity KidsCan is set to add 9 further schools to the 718 primary, intermediate and high schools across New Zealand receiving help through its programme.

The charity says it still needs more than 1,500 Kiwis who are willing to donate to ensure needy children receive KidsCan's food, shoes, raincoats and health and hygiene programmes as winter hits home.

KidsCan CEO Julie Chapman says the need in some communities in New Zealand is dire.

"Unfortunately, winter is the worst time of the year for families living in material hardship and what we’ve seen over the years is that parents are keeping their kids home from school because they don’t own shoes, socks or raincoats," she says.

"And those who do go to school turn up wet and freezing cold, making it difficult to participate in class".

According to the latest information released by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner in its 2017 Child Poverty Monitor, 135,000 Kiwi kids (or 12 percent of children (aged 0-17) miss out on seven or more things they need for their well-being.

Those missed essentials include postponed visits to the doctor, a pair of shoes, or adequate warm clothing.