In the 1950s the Australian Government introduced a scheme for school children to receive free milk. I think the idea was that it would ensure that all Australian children would be getting fresh milk and a good dose of calcium each day.
The idea might have been fine but in practice there were a few problems. The truck would normally drop the milk off at about 9.30 and recess wasn’t until 10.45 (from memory) and on a hot Adelaide summer day the milk would go off. No refrigeration was available and teacher made you drink the milk, off or not. Put my wife off milk for years.
Some of our posters recalled the scheme had also been introduced in England; “I recall the rich (ish) kids at our school bringing chocolate powder to mix with their milk. I was promoted to milk monitor but was sacked after one day for locking the other monitor in the milk shed. And Maggie Thatcher axed the milk scheme for the over 7 year olds in England in 71 to save money – the press at the time labeled her ‘Maggie Thatcher – Milk Snatcher’.
Another remembered; “lining up to accept the sunny boy type contained milk!! I often still remember that smell, I would run to the back of the line continuously until they were all gone!!!
One poster had happy memories; “I remember this but our milk was frozen and was always fresh we had to supply our own cups and we use to have milk monitors on a hot day our milk thawed out and was still fresh. During winter our milk was put in a fridge that some parents donated to the school so our milk was just right for drinking. In the end we used the fridge during summer time as well and didn’t have frozen milk anymore”!
And to prove it wasn’t all bad, yet another person remembered; “Fond memories of the free milk for me at Cairns in the early 70s. Couldn’t wait till little lunch. Always participated in risky sports and never broken a bone in my life. They should reintroduce this at schools. Might help the dairy farmers as well. Win win”.
The free school milk scheme lasted until the early 70’s and was scrapped.
Interesting thought by our last poster suggesting it should be re-introduced today. It would certainly be a big help to the local dairy farmers and I believe there are a lot of kids who don’t get much of a breakfast, might be a way of improving school kids general health.
What do you think?