Proposal Put Forward to Use School Gardens to Enhance Feeding Programme


Parish Development Officer for the Jamaica 4-H Clubs in Manchester, Malonia Harper, has pointed out that a proposal has been put forward to use the school garden project in the parish, to enhance the school breakfast and lunch programmes.
Speaking recently at the monthly meeting of the Jamaica 4-H Clubs Parish Advisory Council, in Mandeville, Mrs. Harper said the proposal has been made to the Manchester Parish Council Agricultural Committee, so that produce from school gardens could be used to assist with the school feeding programme in the parish.
“We are in the process of visiting some schools. Proposals are also going out to the Members of Parliament to see how much contributions they can give towards it, because while we agree that the Government has added a little bit more to the donations towards the PATH Programme, the school feeding programme that is within the school is just for students who are on the PATH Programme and there are other students who are also in need of a meal,” she said.
Mrs. Harper said that the feedback is that the donations from PATH do not provide adequate coverage for meals for the students, and that “once we enhance the school gardens, you get eggs from the layer units for the breakfast programme, meat from the broiler units for the lunch programme, and vegetables.”
She explained that the proposal is seeking to have at least six schools focussing on layers for egg production, six on broilers for meat production and 12 schools concentrating on vegetable production, in each of the four constituencies in Manchester.
Mrs. Harper said that the existing suppliers would not be severely affected, as the programme would not be in a position to supply the school feeding programme with all the produce that it needs.
She said that in her capacity as Parish Development Officer, she would be working with the Peace Corps Volunteer, School Garden Officer, Jamaica Agricultural Society (JAS) and Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) Extension Officers, to ensure the smooth implementation of the proposed programme.
Meanwhile, Peace Corps Volunteer with the Manchester 4-H Clubs, Stephanie Husfelt, said that she is currently assisting with a school garden recipe project, which would include the main ingredients from a school garden.
“The school garden recipe project would complement Home Economics, while combining it with school gardening. I also think that the school garden recipe project would serve as a great idea for a calendar,” she said.

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