School toasts free milk for primary students

KIRSTY MCMURRAY
Last updated 05:00 14/12/2012
Portia Huffam
ROBERT CHARLES/Fairfax NZ
BOTTOMS UP: Waitara Central School student Portia Huffam, 6, downs a glass of milk which primary schools throughout the country will be getting free next year.

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Milk moustaches will be appearing on the faces of primary school kids daily from next year.

Fonterra announced yesterday all 350,000 primary school children in the country will get a free serving of white gold as part of the Milk for Schools programme.

Waitara Central School principal Sharren Read said free milk would be a welcome addition to the school day. "I'm all for anything that's going to help our children eat healthily."

She said it could also positively impact on both students' attendance and learning.

"We've already got breakfast club and we find through that when they know they're going to be fed they come to school."

It would also be a lesson in nutrition for many of the students, she said.

"I don't know how many of our kids would be encouraged to drink a glass of milk at home."

The milk will also go nicely with the free fruit the school already receives, she said.

"You know that every day our kids are going to have fresh fruit and milk. Isn't that great."

Milk for Schools had been trialled in Northland this year, Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings said.

"The Northland pilot allowed us to test our systems. We learnt some valuable lessons and got great feedback from schools in the area."

Mr Spierings said while New Zealand is the largest exporter of dairy products in the world, consumption of milk is down.

"We are totally committed to Fonterra Milk for Schools because we believe it will make a lasting difference to the health of New Zealand's children.

"We will continue with Northland, and launch in Southland in the first term next year, moving through the country during the year."

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- Taranaki Daily News

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