Free school milk goes down well
Fonterra's Milk for Schools programme has sailed into Stewart Island, making Southland the leading region taking part in the initiative.
The nationwide programme was launched in Southland in May and offers children in eligible schools a 180ml serve of low-fat milk each school day.
Fonterra said 67 Southland schools were in the Milk for Schools programme.
This represented a 92 per cent participation rate of all eligible schools in the region, which was the best take-up in the country.
Pupils at Halfmoon Bay School will join their mainland friends drinking milk at school and other schools could still sign up to the programme.
The first delivery on Stewart Island went down well with the school's 28 pupils.
Kahu Moxham, 7, and Dayton Cripps, 8, both said it was "yummy".
Halfmoon Bay School principal Kath Johnson said the school had been waiting eagerly for the first shipment of milk packs and when they arrived the children thought it was great and were enthusiastic.
The school was pleased it had not been forgotten and was happy Fonterra were covering the freight costs for their milk and to transport cartons for recycling.
"When you live here, free freight usually only means to Bluff, so it was a big bonus the milk comes without a cost."
The Bluff "milk lady" would deliver milk pack supplies to the Stewart Island Ferry once a month, she said.
Milk packs will also be delivered to Kiwi children on the Chatham and Great Barrier islands.
Fonterra In-School Programmes operations manager Louise Aitken said the co-operative wanted to make sure all Kiwi children in years one to six had the opportunity to be part of the programme. This was why schools on Chatham, Stewart, and Great Barrier islands had been included.
It was a big logistical undertaking, which had been made easier with huge community support.
The Southland Times