It’s the same for the wealthy and the not-so-wealthy.
The other day, I read an article by Foodbank Australia. It said that Aussie kids are attending school without eating the most important meal of the day. All. The. Time.
Foodbank’s new Hunger in the Classroom report is a survey of teachers from across Australia that found at least three students in every classroom are arriving hungry to school.
I speed-read it, thinking ‘Interesting – but it has nothing to do with my life. I’m not in a low socio-economic area.’ And went about my day, perched on my pedestal…
The very next day, I had to eat my words (along with my bowl of Bircher muesli). One of the boys in my son’s kindy class came to school without a bite of brekkie. Three days in a row. The teacher quickly slapped together a Vegemite sandwich that the little mite woofed down.
My first reaction was: maybe this boy is not a morning person and the thought of feeding his face at the crack of dawn makes him sick to his stomach. Or maybe he was being a smartass and refused to eat what his mum offered him.
Nope. The kid did not whinge about his Weetbix. He did not push back his mug of Milo. Turns out, his parents are going through a rough patch in their marriage and their child’s breakfast – or lack of it – is the collateral damage.
This incident left me... unsettled. Until this week, I read such posts with an imaginary but impervious wall around me. These things happen to “other people”. People from low socio-economic areas. Nobody I knew.
Until this happened, my thoughts mirrored the Foodbank’s report.