Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has today launched back-to-school healthy-eating campaigns with Ireland’s Olympic gold medallist and School Milk and Food Dudes ambassador Kellie Harrington.

Schools that register for the scheme in the 2021/2022 school year will receive two weeks free milk for every child in the school.

Schools that register for the scheme also receive free fridges to ensure that milk is served chilled and fresh as well as access to exclusive education resources and competitions.

Due to the popularity of the scheme, the deadline for applications to a free milk promotion has been extended to the 15 October.

Minister McConalogue launched the campaign at Harrington’s former primary school, St Vincent’s Girls National School, North William Street, Dublin 1.

The Minister for Agriculture and Olympic boxer Kellie Harrington.

In a recent video created to support the roll out of Food Dudes and School Milk in disadvantaged schools Harrington said: “A lot of my achievements are down to hard work, eating the right food and getting plenty of rest.”

Speaking at the event Minister McConalogue commented: “I am delighted to launch the back-to-school campaigns for the School Milk Scheme and the Food Dudes Programme, both of which play a key role in meeting school children’s dietary requirements in a school setting, and also encourage children to make healthier eating choices outside of school,” he said.

Congratulating Kellie on her Olympic gold medal win the Minister said: “Kellie is a positive and inspirational role model for school children.

“As a School Milk and Food Dudes ambassador, she has empowered many school children to make healthier eating choices by drinking milk and eating more fruit and vegetables,” he added.

McConalogue has urged all primary schools that are offered the opportunity to sign up to these programmes.

The School Milk Scheme has long been recognised as one of the most convenient and affordable ways to help children meet their calcium and nutrient needs for healthy growth and development.

The Food Dudes Programme is an award-winning curriculum-linked evidence-based healthy-eating programme developed to encourage children to eat fresh fruit and vegetables.

The School Milk Scheme is managed by the National Dairy Council and the Food Dudes Programme developed by the University of Bangor, is managed by Bord Bia.

Both the School Milk Scheme and the Food Dudes receive EU and national funding through the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. To register a school to avail of school milk please email The National Dairy Council at or to register your interest click here.