Free Lunches At School For Students Who Need Them

  • Minister for Education

The Andrews Labor Government is making sure students can thrive at school by expanding the School Breakfast Clubs Program to offer lunches and school holiday supplies to children who need them.

Minister for Education James Merlino today visited St Albans North Primary School to launch the $58 million expansion of the School Breakfast Clubs Program. This is the first week that the new lunch program is being offered at St Albans North Primary School.

A limited lunch menu starts at some schools from term 3, with a broader menu offering rolled out next year.

A total of 500 new schools will join the School Breakfast Clubs Program next year, with lunches and school holiday supplies to be provided to students who need them. The first 250 schools to participate in the program next year are receiving their invitations in coming days.

The expansion will offer meal preparation and nutrition training for students and families at 100 schools in 2020.

This is a part of the Labor Government’s ongoing work to support children from disadvantaged families to fully participate in their learning at school and build happy and healthy lives.

Schools that currently host the School Breakfast Clubs Program – including St Albans North Primary School – will start serving lunches at school and providing holiday supplies to students who need it in term 3 of this year.

Under the expansion, the School Breakfast Clubs Program will be rolled out to an additional 500 schools, with a total of 1000 government primary, secondary, P-12 and special schools set to benefit by the end of 2020.

From the start of next year, 125 schools will be added to the School Breakfast Clubs Program each term, ensuring more students from families that are experiencing disadvantage have the support they need to succeed at school.

The breakfast and lunch menu offerings include a range of healthy options such as muesli, Vita Brits, milk, baked beans, fruit cups, fresh apples, Vegemite and honey, and lunch bowls. Since the program started in 2016, more than 8.8 million breakfasts have been delivered to Victorian students.

As noted by Minister for Education James Merlino

“More than 8 million breakfasts have already been served to students. Now, having lunches will make it easier for children who may not be able to bring food to school.”

“We know that children can’t learn properly on an empty stomach – that’s why we’re expanding this program to offer lunches to those who need them most.”

As stated by Member for St Albans Natalie Suleyman

“St Albans North Primary School has been a leader for the School Breakfast Clubs Program – improving student’s health and wellbeing. This expansion will mean even more students are able to focus at school.”

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