Richie McCaw, who now works for Christchurch Helicopters, is to visit four primary schools – flying there by chopper if possible – this year to drop off packs of milk as part of the Fonterra Milk for Schools programme.
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The initiative, now in its fifth year, provided more than 140,000 children around the country with nearly 20 million free servings of milk last year.
New Zealand dietary guidelines recommend school children drink two to three servings of milk per day.
A Massey University study led by the School of Food and Nutrition’s Professor Marlena Kruger last year found children who attended schools that participated in Fonterra Milk for Schools had significantly better bone health than those who didn’t.
Other research conducted by academics at the University of Auckland concluded that more children consumed at least the recommended minimum amount of dairy products after milk was supplied through the programme.
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In 2012, 119 schools had signed up to Fonterra Milk for Schools; by last year that figure had increase to 1431.
“The programme continues to grow and two things stand out about it for us – ensuring Kiwi kids get a daily dose of quality nutrition and the generosity of Fonterra and its farmers,” said Chris Ward, Fonterra’s general manager of community programmes.