TH Group school milk programme galvanises government

September 29, 2016 | 15:37
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Locally-owned fresh milk producer TH Group’s school milk programme has inspired the government to start its own, similar  initiative.

At the live television programme titled “School milk For the Health of Vietnamese People” aired in the evening of September 28 in Hanoi, a national-level school milk account was created to raise funds from all walks of life, which will use donations to provide fresh milk for 12 million kids nationwide.

TH Group has donated VND200 billion (nearly $9.1 million), tantamount to 200 million glasses of fresh milk, to the account payable until 2021.

The live television programme was aimed at highlighting and disseminating the National School Milk Programme promulgated by the prime minister in Decision 1340/QD-TTg, stressing the importance of combating malnutrition among pre-school and junior school kids via providing school milk.

The live television programme also highlighted the activities of Food and Agriculture Organisation launching World School Milk Day in September to improve awareness of the importance of school milk, which has already been launched in more than 60 nations.

The prime minister’s Decision 1340 authorising the National School Milk Programme forms part of the master plan on developing the physical strength and body building of Vietnamese people for the 2011 – 2030 period.

Decision 1340 covers three key issues, including regulations on the standards of fresh milk served at schools, the availability of the programme in all poor districts and 70 per cent of other localities throughout Vietnam by 2020, and solutions to raise funds to provide fresh milk for kids, especially by drawing in enterprises.

In response to Decision 641, TH Group has launched an initiative to mobilise resources from all walks of life, including localities’ budgets, to support mothers in buying school milk for their children (via the Fund of School Milk For the Health of Vietnamese People).

The group has been co-operating with Nghe An province to pilot a school milk programme, with a support mechanism including three categories of beneficiaries.

The first category includes pupils from poor households, where parents are wounded soldiers, war martyrs, and contributors to Vietnam’s revolution. These pupils receive the milk entirely free.

The second category includes pupils from near-poor households, who receive the milk at half price.

The last category includes pupils from all remaining types of households, who are given 30 per cent of the milk’s cost as financial assistance.

During the 2015-2016 academic year, TH Group’s school milk programme was deployed in 17 out of 21 districts in Nghe An, with the participation of 215,851 pupils - 50 per cent of the whole province’s student population. Each pupil received one 180-millilitre fresh milk package five days a week.

The milk used for this programme is TH School MILK wholly processed from fresh milk, with specialised formulas made by the National Nutrition Institute, under scientific consultancy from Doctor Frank Wieringa, a renowned French nutrition expert.

The product is supplemented with micro nutritious substances based on scientific analysis. The substances include calcium, iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, folic acid, and a mixture of Vitamin A, C, D, and Group B, which all help improve kids’ height, eyesight, and concentration ability.

The live television programme was organised by Vietnam Television, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education and Training, and TH Group. It was aired in three locations, including Hanoi, the central province of Nghe An, and Ho Chi Minh City.

By By Thanh Tung

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