The Baillieu Government has peeled away funding to a successful program that provided fresh fruit to school children across Victoria, State Labor Member for Narre Warren South Judith Graley said.

“Even amidst the savage cuts to our kids’ education, who would have thought the Baillieu Government would start taking food from out of their mouths?” she said

“Schools in Casey have been enjoying the former Labor Government’s Free Fruit Friday program, but now it has fallen victim to Mr Baillieu’s savage cuts.”

Ms Graley said Free Fruit Friday was instrumental in education young students and their families in the local area about the benefits of a healthy diet.

“We all know that bad habits are harder to break as you get older, so it is imperative that children develop a healthy attitude to food while they are still young.”

Shadow Health Promotion Minister Danielle Green said the Baillieu Government had tried to hoodwink families and school principals by cutting the program by stealth.

“Education Minister Martin Dixon has failed to adequately notify school principals about the axing of the program, who instead found out when school resumed for term three that funding has been cut with immediate effect,” Ms Green said.

“When the Opposition last year revealed the budget cuts to the successful ‘Kids Go for Your Life’ program, which encouraged healthy eating and lifestyle habits in school children, the Government said the program was simply under review.”

“Rather than having the courage to tell the community the result of the review, Mr Baillieu just cut the $500,000 funding and hoped that no-one would notice.”