Free and healthy lunches in schools

Thousands of Year 1-8 students will be offered a free and healthy lunch in a new programme being tested in selected schools in three regions; Bay of Plenty/Waiariki, Hawke’s Bay/Tairawhiti and Otago/Southland. 

The schools were chosen using the Ministry of Education’s Equity Index, which estimates where children may experience socio-economic disadvantage that could affect their education.

Research indicates that one in five children experience moderate or severe food insecurity. And that, in our most disadvantaged communities, 40 percent of parents run out of food sometimes or often. The free lunch programme is focused on improving child wellbeing by addressing food insecurity and supporting children’s engagement, progress and achievement in their learning.

The programme started in Term 1 this year, and by the beginning of 2021 up to 21,000 students in 120 schools will be eligible for a free lunch. It is targeted towards Year 1-8 students, but older students in participating composite schools (with Years 9-13) will also be included.

The free lunch programme is limited to schools in the three regions so the approach can be tested to understand what is involved, what helps support delivery and the benefits to students’ wellbeing and education.  A decision on potential continuation or expansion of the free lunch programme expansion will be made after its two year trial has ended in 2022.

The table below details advice provided that relates to this work.

Date of paper

Title 

METIS/Reference number 

1 July 2019

Cabinet Paper: Implementing a free and healthy school lunch prototype for year 1-8 students  [PDF, 1.4 MB]

CAB-19-MIN-0329
9 December 2019

Cabinet Minutes: Update on a Free and Healthy Lunches in School [PDF, 976 KB]

CAB-19-MIN-0651

 

Date of paper

Title 

METIS/Reference number 

20 September 2018

Briefing Note: Food in Schools: Options for Budget 2019 and further work [PDF, 1.3 MB] 

DPMC-2018/19-291
29 October 2018

Briefing Note: Food in Schools: Options for Budget 2019 and approach to designing a New Zealand model  [PDF, 3 MB]

DPMC-2018/19-424
6 December 2018

Briefing Note: Food in Schools: Options to progress policy development  [PDF, 2.5 MB]

DPMC-2018/19-575
18 January 2019 Joint Report: Budget 2019 initiative – free school lunches for all students in the schools with high concentrations of disadvantage [PDF, 11 MB]  1174463
11 February 2019 Aide Memoire: Further information about the Food in Schools Budget 2019 proposal [PDF, 3.6 MB]  DPMC-2018/19-889
27 February 2019  Briefing Note: Confirming the scope and cost of a ‘Free School Lunch Programme’ Budget initiative  [PDF, 1.4 MB] 1778270
11 March 2019 Aide Memoire: Current provision of free school lunch programmes – including sources of funding [PDF, 726 KB]  
29 March 2019 Briefing Note: Options for reducing the cost of a ‘Free School Lunch Programme’ Budget initiative [PDF, 1.3 MB] 1183664
11 April 2019 Briefing Note: Updated advice on a free school lunch programme [PDF, 1.3 MB]  1185263
24 May 2019 Briefing Note: Implementing a free school lunch programme in selected schools [PDF, 10 MB] 1191068
4 June 2019 Briefing Note: Ministerial consultation on the Cabinet Paper Implementing a free and healthy school lunch prototype for Year 1-8 students [PDF, 1.2 MB] 1193455
19 June 2019 Briefing Note: Approval to lodge Cabinet paper: Implementing a free and healthy school lunch prototype for Year 1-8 students [PDF, 2.7 MB]  1195586
24 June 2019 Aide Memoire: Implementing a free and healthy school lunch prototype for Year 1-8 students: Speaking notes and information to support your paper at Social Wellbeing Committee [PDF, 1005 KB] 1196722
1 August 2019 Education Report: School lunch programme: intended approach to implementation during phase one [PDF, 821 KB]  1199575
7 August 2019 Aide Memoire: School Lunch Programme: identified schools for implementation in Term 1, 2020 [PDF, 724 KB] 1201484
23 October 2019 Briefing Note; Free and Healthy School Lunches Programme Update [PDF, 916 KB] 1208555
2 December 2019 Briefing Note: Proposed policy change to extend free and healthy school lunches to year 9-15 students in composite schools [PDF, 6 MB]  1214456

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