HCM City plans to launch a school milk programme with a total cost of VND1.482 trillion (USD67.36 million) during the 2018-2020 period.
The programme is aimed to improve child nutrition at kindergartens and primary schools.
Bui Thi Diem Thu, deputy head of the city’s Department of Education and Training, said the department has worked with municipal concerned agencies on the programme and also sought parental opinion.
Around 84% of interviewed parents supported the programme.
According to Thu, children will be provided with a 180ml box of milk from Monday to Friday. Children from poor families or those living near the poverty line will receive the milk for free. Other children will have to pay half the costs with the city subsidising 30% and milk suppliers 20%.
At present, a 180ml milk box is priced at VND7,000 on average.
To date, roughly 346,141 preschool and 151,000 primary children have registered to participate in the programme.
Children who do not take part in the programme can bring their own milk to school.
Schools will adjust daily meals for children once the milk programme is carried out.
Thu noted the necessity for the programme implementation, saying that the city is home to many poor households and those living near the poverty line. The World Health Organisation have reported that Vietnamese children are shorter than regional neighbours.
Following parental concerns about substandard milk quality, including expired products, Thu highlighted that milk supplies were required to display expiry dates.