Lisburn Councillor Robbie Butler has said the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development must be challenged to organize free milk days and events in all schools in the constituency “to help boost milk as a natural and healthy product to school students”.
“I want to campaign for every primary school pupil between the ages of five and 11 to be entitled to up to 250 millilitres of European Union subsidised milk in schools every day,” said Mr Butler. “This cool milk initiative which was operating in England and Wales was aimed at the under fives and children on free dinners with subsidies for others.
“DARD needs to follow the example of events, such as the National School Milk Week in England and Wales. During that week, 200 primary schools in England and Wales receive free milk for a day to encourage pupils to take advantage of its free or subsidised availability.
“I urge DARD to develop this excellent idea to Northern Ireland and use schools in the Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council area as a pilot scheme. This would also help boost milk sales to a key target market, as well as help the Lagan valley constituency’s dairy farming sector.
“It is important that we encourage our constituency’s children to develop milk drinking habits early to combat potential problems like brittle bone disease in later life. It is also vitally important that the constituents of Lisburn and Castlereagh enjoy the same benefits as those in the rest of the United Kingdom. I am confident that a DARD pilot scheme in our primary schools would be popular with both pupils and parents alike. Eventually, I hope that the milk scheme could also be included in the secondary sector schools as well as the colleges of further and higher education.
“Nothing is more important than the health of our constituency’s children and students and there is no healthier food than milk.”