The detrimental effects of insufficient food consumption on educational attainment have been well documented. Nutrition and child development research has found that when a child is inadequately fed, their cognitive functioning, energy levels and classroom behaviour deteriorate, resulting in poor academic performance. This is of particular concern given that New Zealand has one of the highest levels of inequality in educational outcomes of all OECD countries. While the reasons for educational underachievement are mutlifactorial, addressing children’s food insecurity at school is an important step towards ensuring New Zealand has an educated, well-informed and functioning citizenry.
 Katherine Alaimo, Christine M. Olson and Edward A. Frongillo, “Food Insufficiency and American School-Aged Children’s Cognitive, Academic and Psychosocial Development,” Pediatrics 108, no. 1 (2001); Michael Nelson, “Childhood Nutrition and Poverty,” Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 59, no. 2 (2000); Nevin S. Scrimshaw, “Malnutrition, Brain Development, Learning and Behaviour,” Nutrition Research 18, no. 2 (1988).
 OECD, PISA 2009 Results: Overcoming Social Background – Equity in Learning Opportunities and Outcomes Volume II (Paris: OECD Publishing, 2010).