By 3 News online staff
Conservative Party leader Colin Craig says there should be "no free lunches" for children sent to school without any of their own.
In a release this afternoon, Mr Craig says research showing children that go without lunch don't learn as well is "missing the point".
"The issue is not whether lunchlessness is detrimental to learning," he says. "Rather the issue is a parents’ duty to provide for their children."
Mr Craig believes providing lunches in schools will encourage "delinquent behaviour".
"While free lunches sound appealing, they are actually a way by which the Government enables the continuation of delinquent parenting. Such proposals are an unwitting, well meaning, but destructive response."
Instead, he says "delinquent" parents should be charged the "cost of rectifying their bad behaviour".
A recent Campbell Live investigation showed kids at schools in poorer areas went without lunch far more often than those in wealthier suburbs.
Research by the Ministry of Health shows roughly 20 percent of Kiwi households with children run out of money for food.