Supermarket giant Woolworths has announced plans to offer free food to children, completely catch-free. Under a new national program, kids will be able to pick up fresh seasonal fruits and start munching away while their parents shop. Items on the menu include mandarins, apples, pears and bananas sourced from local farmers and suppliers. Not bad. Not bad at all.
Fruit image from Shutterstock
The Free Fruit for Kids program does exactly what it says on the tin: children are invited to eat seasonal fruits from clearly marked stands. All free fruit is Australian grown and allegedly of the same quality as the stuff you have to pay for. The rollout follows a successful trial in South Australia.
According to Woolworths, the program has been implemented in a bid to help children eat their recommended two serves of fruit a day and "inspire a healthier Australia."
"Free Fruit for Kids is not only a great way to encourage healthy eating habits but also an easy way to keep the little ones occupied whilst shopping," Woolworths managing director Brad Banducci said in a statement. "We know that a trip to the supermarket can be a busy time and the free fruit initiative is just one way we are hoping to give parents and carers a helping hand."
While the more cynical among you may see this as a relatively low-cost stunt to reel in more customers, we think it should be commended all the same. It's certainly a better proposition than crappy collector cards or dominoes pieces. (As much as kids love that stuff.)
Woolworths hasn't laid out the rules for the new scheme yet. Presumably, the deal will be limited to one item per child -- otherwise, parents could just load up their trolleys from the free food section. We're also unsure how the fruit-washing situation works.
The free fruit stands should be appearing in Woolworths' 961 stores in the coming weeks. I personally can't wait to shove a banana into the squalling mouth of my offspring -- everybody wins!