4 Mar 2024

Public health experts fear lunches programme will be axed

From Checkpoint, 5:27 pm on 4 March 2024

Nothing more than a marketing campaign, wasteful spending verging on criminal and it should go.

That's how Act leader David Seymour has variously described the free lunches in schools programme, that he's now in charge of reviewing as Associate Education Minister.

The aim of the healthy lunches programme is to reduce hunger and food insecurity by providing access to a nutritious lunch everyday.

However, public health experts fear it could be axed.

David Seymour says hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on it without any robust studies on its effectiveness and indeed evidence showing its not improved school attendance or academic achievement.

Dr Pippa McKelvie-Sebileau speaks to Lisa Owen.