“ACT has repeatedly called on the Government to count how many school lunches are going to waste and why. MoE has now said it will require schools to count uneaten lunches and report the averages.
“This is how government departments should respond to criticism. The question now is what will it do with the data? Will contracts be varied? Will they use money saved to improve quality?
“While the Government hasn’t been counting the lunches going to waste, ACT has done the work for them and calculated approximately 300,000 have been rejected by schools.
“In March, the Education Minister boasted that over three million lunches had been served up. In answer to a Written Question to the ACT Party, Chris Hipkins said an evaluation of 60 schools showed that around 10 percent were “surplus.”
“We know that hundreds of lunches in the Waikato alone have been chucked and since those revelations, there’s been anecdotal evidence of this happening all around the country.
“One in ten is a huge amount of waste.
“ACT believes when creating good public policy you should do detailed work about what the problem is you’re actually trying to solve, not just throw around taxpayer’s money so people think you’re being kind.
“An estimate of 300,000 is shocking. We now need assurances that the data MoE collects will be put to good use so we don’t see wastage like this in the future.”
A copy of the written question is below: