The program has previously offered students breakfast, but will also include a lunch menu from Term 3 this year.

Five hundred new schools will join the School Breakfast Clubs Program next year, bringing the total number of participating schools up to 1000, or around two thirds of all public schools in the state.

Victorian Minister for Education James Merlino launched the expansion at St Alban’s North Primary School today.

“More than 8 million breakfasts have already been served to students. Now, having lunches will make it easier for children who may not be able to bring food to school,” he said.

“We know that children can’t learn properly on an empty stomach – that’s why we’re expanding this program to offer lunches to those who need them most.”