School Nutrition Program

In 2007, as a response to the Little Children are Sacred report, the Northern Territory Government announced the School Nutrition Program - a breakfast and lunch service to be implemented in prescribed communities in the Northern Territory for school children in years 1-10.

The program is a sub-measure of Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER), whose main aim is to protect children within the Northern Territory, who are living in remote communities and town camps, and is administered by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), on behalf of the Australian Government.

The program (as part of a broader school engagement strategy) aims to:

  • Support better school attendance
  • Help learning and engagement in education
  • Support increased educational performance
  • Provide job opportunities and training for local community members

Research has shown that students who have had a nutritious and adequate meal before school are much more able to concentrate and engage in learning than those who have not.

Program principles

DEEWR works with local communities to administer the program. The Department ensures the following standards are met:

  • Ensuring availability of adequate and necessary kitchen facilities/equipment
  • Supporting staff professional development as appropriate
  • Meets the cost of infrastructure and service provision
  • Compliance with the relevant standards and regulations in relation to food handling/service
  • Promoting mutual obligation between parents and government

The program has been implemented in St Francis Xavier Catholic School.