Fonterra is ending its school milk programme at the end of the year, the dairy giant says.
Instead, Fonterra is partnering with Sanitarium and the Ministry for Social Development to contribute to Kickstart Breakfast, which provides meals to 1000 schools.
Fonterra chief executive Miles Hurrell said the partnership planned to expand the programme to have all decile one to five schools signed up to Kickstart Breakfast, which would include another 200 schools.
Fonterra would also partner with the NZ Food Network to distribute dairy products to charities and foodbanks, Hurrell said.
“It will be an end of an era and we’re proud of what Fonterra Milk for Schools has achieved, but times have changed and so will we,” he said.
“We can see there’s a need for us to expand our thinking and take a more holistic approach that reaches more people, which is why we’re making these changes.”
During lockdown earlier this year Fonterra redirected one million cartons of milk to food banks and charities, which motivated the change in direction, he said.
NZ Food Network chief executive Gavin Findlay said the Kickstart Breakfast programme was open to all schools of all ages and deciles.
Papatoetoe North School principal Stan Tiatia said his school made use of Kickstart Breakfast.
It was a way for whanau, staff and children to connect and get off to a good start for the day, he said.
“The programme helps to build community and in times affected by anxiety and isolation the Kickstart breakfast time provides an opportunity for connection and care.”