Schools thirsty for milk scheme
Schools sign up for milk schemeTERRI RUSSELL
More than 90 per cent of eligible Southland schools have so far signed up for the Fonterra Milk for Schools programme - the highest uptake in New Zealand.
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.
Schools are still able to sign up until the end of the first term next year but to this point Southland is leading the way nationwide.
Fonterra sustainability and social responsibility director Carly Robinson said the number of participating schools in Southland had increased to 92 per cent since the launch.
"The strong support for Fonterra Milk for Schools by Southland's principals, school representatives and the community is what we believe has influenced the high uptake of the programme in Southland.
"Since the national rollout began in Southland in May, we have continued to see schools in Southland sign up for Fonterra Milk for Schools with 67 schools now on board. It's a result we are really proud of," she said.
The programme reached Auckland this week, which is the last region to roll out the programme.
"In Southland, the sign-up of schools has been slightly higher than other regions," she said. There are 102 schools in Otago taking part in the programme.
All schools who have signed up for the programme, currently 1300, are expected to be drinking milk by the end of the first term next year.
Southland Primary Principals Association president Ben Witheford said he had not spoken to any colleagues who did not support the initiative.
"It's got full support of primary schools. It doesn't cost us anything, everything's supplied, milk, fridges, recycling, and it's a healthy product for the children," he said.
St Patrick's School teacher Leigh Munro said the school had taken part in the programme since May and it was a great success.
"It's going well, the kids are enjoying it and they look forward to it.
"It provides a good basis for learning - teaching them about recycling, the environment and where milk comes from," she said.
Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings said over the past five months there had been significant community support for the national rollout.
"Milk is one of the most nutritious foods there is and we want to do what we can to make sure Kiwi kids grow up drinking it every day," he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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