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Milk for schools untainted by botulism scandal

Aug 13th, 2013 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

GOT MILK: Lyall Bay students enjoying their milk (from left) Ava Doddrige (5), Ava Mooij (5), Toby Steiner (5) and Taliaha Doig (5).

FONTERRA may be making negative headlines this week, but Lyall Bay School is very happy with NZ’s largest company. 

Most of the school’s 426 students are taking part in the Fonterra Milk For Schools programme launched in Wellington schools this week.

Fonterra are providing schools with 180ml specially labelled milk boxes and an estimated 80-90 per cent of students are participating in the programme.

The school has also been provided with two custom built refrigerators to keep the milk in.

The long-life milk has a shelf life of six months un-refrigerated, but some will be kept in the fridges so that it is chilled when the children get it.

“It’s a much better system than the old glass bottles sitting out in the sun,” said principal Dennis Thompson.

On Fonterra’s advice, the milk will be distributed to classrooms daily after the lunch break when the children are doing something quiet.

“The students will be doing a settling activity while drinking their milk,” said Mr Thompson. “Maybe the teacher will read them a story.”

Parents of students were surveyed on how they felt about the school taking part in the program and 91 per cent of respondents said yes, it was a great idea, Mr Thompson said.

“We didn’t think the school had a mandate to decide what was right or not for the kids,” he said.

Fonterra chose Lyall Bay School for the official launch in Wellington last Thursday, but unfortunately it had to be cancelled due to many of the key people involved having higher priorities because of the whey protein concentrate contamination.

The milk provided to the schools has not been affected.milkMAIN 6

Fonterra gave the school $1000 to make up for the cancellation.

The extra money will be used for current building projects at the school, Mr Thompson said.

There has also been a recycling program put into place.The school has a dozen wheelie bins to collect and recycle their milk packaging.

Students have been taught how to fold the empty milk box into a flag shape (right).

They are also taught to leave the plastic surrounding the straw attached to the carton to ensure the package can be recycled as one unit.  “It’s very important not to have the product flying around the neighbourhood,” Mr Thompson said.

The recycled product is then used to make exercise books, or tiles in a fibreglass-like form.

About 30 milk cartons can be recycled into a 10cm square tile.

“I think it’s fantastic what they’ve done,” said Mr Thompson. “A massive amount of thought has gone into this whole thing.”

There is a system in place for teachers to maintain lists of the children taking part – so only children with consent are given milk boxes.  This is to ensure no one with allergies will be affected.

“I’m confident that we are approaching it with thorough knowledge and support,” said Mr Thompson.

He is very happy with the programme and Fonterra’s management of it.

“The people we have been dealing with have been fantastic.  I’m really impressed,” he said.

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is a Whitireia journalism student originally hailing from Tauranga with a love for polar bears and airplanes. She is currently covering the Lyall Bay/Kilbirnie area of Wellington.
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