Thirty-four Otago primary schools have signed up for
Fonterra's milk in schools programme.
Since it announced the scheme last month, more than 520
schools nationwide, about a quarter of those eligible, had
registered their interest, the co-operative said yesterday.
The scheme starts to roll out in Southland towards the end of
term 1, followed by Christchurch. A Fonterra spokeswoman
could not say when it would start in Otago, where it will
cater for at least 4300 children in the participating
More schools are expected to sign up. Otago has 144 schools
eligible for the programme. Pine Hill School principal
Melanie Jewiss said she had registered the decile 3 Dunedin
school for the scheme. The school planned to incorporate the
daily milk into its nutrition education programme.
She did not know whether school pupils' parents struggled to
afford the basic commodity, but given the price she imagined
some did. She said parents did a good job of providing
healthy lunches for schools.
A Dunedin business provided fruit for the school, which was
not eligible for the Government's targeted fruit programme.
Methodist Mission chief executive Laura Black said milk was
proven to improve children's learning, and she hoped Fonterra
would extend the scheme to preschool children aged 3 and 4.
While ideally she would prefer philanthropy was not used to
provide basics, in the ''real world'' parents were struggling
and Fonterra's scheme helped them.