A campaign to persuade schoolchildren to consume more dairy products has been launched in Ireland. The aim of the initiative is to ensure that as many school children as possible benefit from subsidised milk, cheese and yoghurt.
The Irish Examiner reports that social and family affairs minister Mary Coughlan has contacted disadvantaged schools already targeted in a new school meals programme in an effort to get them complement their food with more milk.
"I would like to see this valuable scheme dovetailing with the revised and expanded school meals programme," said Coughlan. "Milk has proven benefits for young children in particular and I want to encourage more children to drink it."
The initiative is part of a European Union-backed scheme to encourage the consumption of subsidised milk, cheese and yoghurt. The idea is to reduce the costs for schools participating in the school meals programme.
In Ireland alone, around 90,000 children in more than 2,500 schools schools currently benefit from the dairy scheme. The Government however feels that many schools remain unaware of the scheme.
"Now that we have identified schools where there is a need we are taking a proactive approach in encouraging those schools to join," said Coughlan.