Announced yesterday by the Liberals and Nationals, Victorian public school students will receive a free, healthy and nutritious lunch each day in an ambitious plan to improve student health and well-being and to support families with the task and cost of daily school lunches.
Providing a healthy lunch not only improves nutrition and energy levels for students, but has well documented learning and educational benefits as well.
Additionally, with the cost of living continuing to spiral, our plan will help to ease the squeeze on family budgets.
Currently governments do not measure how many students go hungry each day, but literature and research suggests that as many as a third of students in some cohorts are either not eating a proper lunch, or are experiencing food insecurity at school.
The Healthy Lunches program comes with the following promises:
The Healthy Lunches program will commence as a two-year $300 million pilot, with rollout initially targeted into selected state primary schools in the second half of 2023. It is anticipated that the program could be available to all state schools by 2026.
Leader of the Liberal Party, Matt Guy said he is excited at the thought of providing healthy lunches in schools.
“As a parent of three boys, I know how difficult it can be to always provide your child with the best lunch option, at the best of times.”
“The Healthy Lunches program will take the stress and cost away from parents in providing nutritious food to their children at school.
“Healthy lunches is another part of our plan to reward hard-working families, and can only be afforded because we are reining in Daniel Andrews’ spiralling debt, and cutting waste such as the $4.7 billion West Gate tunnel blow-out.”
Shadow Minister for Education, David Hodgett said that educational benefits of providing healthy lunches would be a boost to students having experienced so many educational difficulties over the past few years.
“The research in providing healthy lunches clearly demonstrates improved outcomes in learning, concentration, participation in class, academic performance and attendance at school.”