Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett
Western Australia Minister for Education Liz Constable
Western Australia Minister for Regional Development Brendon Grylls
Country Students To Benefit From Expanded $3 Million School Breakfast Program
Victor P Taffa
Hundreds of students in Regional and Remote areas will soon be offered a free breakfast before the start of the school day in a major expansion of the Foodbank School Breakfast Program.
Premier Colin Barnett said the highly successful Program, which each week served healthy and nutritious breakfasts to about 34,000 students at schools in low socio-economic areas, would be expanded to include more regional and remote schools across the State.
Today’s announcement by the Premier, Education Minister Liz Constable and Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls at Greenfields Primary School in Mandurah will see $780,000 worth of State Government Royalties for Regions funding injected into the Program over a four-year period.
This funding will be matched by the Department of Education, which will support Foodbank and schools to roll out the program.
The Department of Health will also contribute $1.45 Million towards the project, taking the State Government’s contribution to more than $3 Million.
“The health and educational benefits of a healthy breakfast are well documented and it is hoped the expansion of this program will help improve school attendance, behaviour and educational achievement.” Dr. Constable said.
“The additional funding will see the program expanded to schools in the South-West, Wheatbelt, Mid-West, Goldfields, Pilbara and Kimberley Regions.” Dr. Constable said.
Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls said Regional and Remote areas faced unique challenges in accessing healthy, affordable and good quality food.
“Foodbank has proven itself to be skilled in sourcing healthy food cheaply, and effectively transporting it to Regional and Remote areas.” Mr. Grylls said.
“Any improvement to country children’s health and education status is well worth supporting.” Mr. Grylls said.
This announcement of a Free Breakfast for Regional and Remote School Students in what is one of the world’s largest States is good news. The reference to Milk Snatcher was for Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
Margaret Thatcher was Education Secretary (Minister) in 1974 as part of the Heath Conservative Government. With budget overruns and never ending Industrial Disputations Margaret Thatcher was nicknamed ‘Thatcher Thatcher The Milk Snatcher’ as Free Milk to School Students was discontinued. Of course this Policy occurred in New South Wales and during hots mornings the milk went off as it lay for hours in un-airconditioned surroundings.