The Red Cross regards the poverty situation in New Zealand so seriously that it is about to 'start serving up breakfast to the country's growing underclass' according to news reports. The charity says that it is 'interesting' - which is perhaps an euphemism for 'shameful' - that an 'agency, which was well known for its work in grief and poverty-stricken regions such as Darfur, had identified a need within our own country'. It says a programme is urgently needed in the 270 decile 1 schools because 10% of children are arriving to school hungry. Meanwhile the Labour Government has announced that 'it is prepared to work with South Island high country leaseholders who find new rents too high', because these (rather wealthy?) farmers are suddenly finding that their leases are being subjected to market rates after 11 years without adjustment. Labour has indicated their willingness to step in provide subsidies in the form of lower rents. Yet Labour's traditional and (taken for granted?) constituency of low-income earners are struggling to keep up with quickly rising prices - according to the article Families stretched as bills keep coming, which says 'Massive price jumps in household essentials, with some basics up 34 per cent, are forcing middle-income Kiwi families on to the breadline - and have swallowed up the extra funds from the Government's Working for Families scheme.' As a consequence, one agency says they have seen a 210% increase in struggling families needing help.