Margot James, MP for Stourbridge, helped children at Withymoor Playgroup celebrate World School Milk Day by handing out milk to the children.
Withymoor Playgroup was one of thousands of schools across more than 30 countries which took part in celebrations dedicated to World School Milk Day on 26th September. The day encourages children to drink milk and aims to educate them about the benefits of milk.
In the UK, school milk is free for children in day-care or primary education under the age of five and subsidised for school children aged five to 11. Milk is delivered fresh and chilled to the classroom, distributed by children and consumed as a group.
This process aids children’s social development, including responsibility, independence and manners. Children also benefit from the nutrients and vitamins in milk, which aids their health and physical development – while also helping to ensure their hydration and improved concentration.
Withymoor Playgroup promotes milk as it adds to their Healthy School Status which helps improve child health, raise pupil achievement, improve social inclusion and encourage closer working between health and education providers.
Margaret Jackson, from Withymoor Playgroup, said: “Our children enjoy sitting together for milk break. Milk provides them with essential calcium to build healthy bones and teeth and strengthens their immune system.”
Healthy cows and a thriving dairy industry are vital to our milk supply. Fifty percent of dairy farmers have abandoned the industry in the last decade because the price farmers have been getting for their milk has been less than it costs to produce.
Margot James said: "At last we have a voluntary agreement between the retailers, processors and farmers that should guarantee a fair price for farmers, but we need to be vigilant in ensuring the agreement takes hold otherwise the future will be dominated by intensive dairy farming which no one concerned with animal health and welfare wants to see."
John Sedgwick, Managing Director for Cool Milk, confirmed that supplying milk to schools, nurseries is vital in helping children to develop important nutrition and social habits. He said: “Milk in schools continues to be incredibly popular and hugely successful in contributing to the healthy development of all children – but especially where children are struggling to get their daily nutrients.”
World School Milk Day was celebrated globally on 26th September. For more information go to www.worldschoolmilkday.com