Posted on 23. Jul, 2012 in News
The Baillieu Government has peeled away funding to a successful program that provided healthy fresh fruit to school children across the State, Shadow Health Promotion Minister Danielle Green said.
Ms Green said the Baillieu Government had tried to hoodwink families and school principals by cutting the program by stealth.
“Education Minister Martin Dixon has failed to adequately notify school principals about the axeing of the program, who instead found out when school resumed for term three that funding has been cut with immediate affect,” Ms Green said.
“When the Opposition last year revealed the budget cuts to the successful ‘Kids Go for Your Life’ program, which encouraged healthy eating and lifestyle habits in school children, the Government said the program was simply under review.
“Rather than having the courage to tell the community the result of the review, Mr Baillieu just cut the $500,000 funding and hoped that no-one would notice.
“As a result of this mean-spirited decision, thousands of kids will miss out on fresh fruit.”
Ms Green said the cuts to the program would impact disadvantaged students the most.
“For kids from vulnerable backgrounds, this fruit could well have been the only fruit these kids consume.
“Teachers calling talk back radio said that without Free Fruit Friday, many of their students won’t get to eat even one piece of fruit in any week.
“All the research shows that children who form healthy eating habits early in life keep eating well for life, so cutting this program simply doesn’t make sense in the long run.”