Students at government schools in Mortlake will be able to enjoy free fresh fruit on Fridays next year thanks to an $11 million Brumby Government ‘Go for your life’ initiative.
Minister for Education, Bronwyn Pike, said the program would encourage local students to adopt healthy eating practices and avoid unhealthy snacks.
“Children need fresh fruit and vegetables every day to grow up healthy and strong,” Ms Pike said.
“But parents also need to do their bit to make sure kids get the nutrients they need.”
“This program is part of whole of government ‘Go for your life’ initiative to encourage healthier lifestyles and avoid damaging health issues like obesity and diabetes.”
In 1985 approximately 10 per cent of Australian children were overweight or obese. By 2005 this figure had risen to approximately 30 per cent.
Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney said the schools have a range of educational materials to teach children the benefits of healthy eating. Students will also continue to learn about the benefits of physical exercise with mandatory school sport and physical education.
“Families and schools play an important role in teaching young people how to adopt healthy eating practices,” Ms Tierney said.
All government schools with primary students can choose to participate in the Free Fruit Friday initiative. It will be rolled out over four years to all eligible schools on a voluntary basis.
Ms Tierney said schools are encouraged to purchase fresh produce from local businesses as part of the Free Fruit Friday initiative.
“Not only are we ensuring our young people get the best possible start in life, we are encouraging schools to buy local and support their local communities,” Ms Tierney said.
Other Victorian Government initiatives aimed at encouraging healthy lifestyles among students include the development of the ‘Go for your life’ Healthy Canteen Kit and the removal of high sugar content soft drinks from school canteens.
For more information, visit the Free Fruit Friday website: