28 Jun 2013

Fonterra Milk for Schools reaches the mighty Waikato

  • Waikato
  • Programme Rollout
  • Press Releases

The nationwide rollout continues, as primary schools in the Waikato jump on board and start drinking their delicious daily milk.

Paterangi School is one of the Waikato schools taking part, and their Principal Chris Calver says children have enthusiastically received Fonterra’s new Milk For Schools programme.

Two of our pupils attended the launch in Cambridge last week and we decided to introduce the milk straight away.

‘‘We’ve been provided with a fridge to store the milk and we will also receive some recycling bins to put the empty cartons into. Because the Year 6 pupils are officially the oldest in the scheme, we’ve given them the responsibility of distributing the milk to classrooms.’’

The new Fonterra Milk For Schools brings back memories of the earlier programme that operated when Mr Calver was at school.

‘‘Many people remember having warm milk to drink at school, but I found the best way to have nice cold milk— I was a milk monitor and got to it first!’’

It’s been 45 years since milk was last provided in New Zealand schools. The first Labour government introduced the free milk in schools initiative in 1937 to improve the health and welfare of young New Zealanders following the Great Depression, and use up surplus milk.
By 1940, the milk was available to more than 80% of pupils.

School milk monitors dished out half-pint (284ml) bottles of milk during morning class sessions. Despite the initiative being a world first, not everyone enjoyed it.

Crates of milk were usually stored in a raised, small slatted shed, close to the school gates. Deliveries were usually early in the morning, so by the time the school children had theirs it was often warm, and the taste and smell did not appeal to some.

Amid increased public doubt about the health benefits of milk, and financial pressure, the milk in schools scheme was dropped in 1967.

Not to worry though, Fonterra Milk for Schools does things a little differently than they did back in the day, and all the kids will be getting perfectly cold milk to drink – thanks to the Fisher & Paykel fridges provided to every participating school. No warm milk here!

Asplin, C. (2013). Milk for Schools reaches Waikato. Te Awamutu Courier. Retrieved from:

Previous Article

2 Aug 2013

The Bay of Plenty and Gisborne start Milk for Schools Programme Rollout Press Releases Gisborne Bay of Plenty

Programme Rollout Press Releases Gisborne Bay of Plenty

Children in the Bay of Plenty and Gisborne regions are being treated to their first school milk packs from this week, as Fonterra celebrates its fifth regional launch as part of the nationwide rollout of Fonterra Milk for Schools.

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