397,000 Students Benefiting from School Feeding Programme


Some 397,000 children in basic, infant, primary, all-age and junior high schools across the island are currently benefiting from the Ministry of Education’s School Feeding Programme.
According to a Ministry Paper tabled in the House of Representatives last week by Minister of Education, Andrew Holness, 175,000 children receive a cooked meal; 136,000 benefit from the nutribun component, while 86,000 in approved basic schools are beneficiaries of commodities purchased.
The document indicates that $199 million has been approved for the purchase of commodities for both the cooked lunch and nutribun components of the programme. A sum of $61.6 million has been made available for feeding grants for 175,000 students under the cooked lunch component, at a rate of $350 per capita. An allocation of just over $21 million has been earmarked to subsidize the nutrition component of the Early Childhood Unit, for some 84,782 children at a rate of $250 per capita.
The Ministry Paper also points out that $938 million has been allocated for nutritional assistance for 115,000 students under the Programme for Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH).
A sum of $426.3 million has been allocated for the recurrent budget of Nutrition Products Limited, which has responsibility for feeding 136,000 students in 1,500 basic, primary, all-age and junior high schools islandwide under the nutri-bun component of the school feeding programme. The complete snack, which includes a drink, is designed to provide one third of each child’s minimum daily requirement of 349 calories.
Currently, the company operates three production plants, located in Kingston, St. Mary and Westmoreland, with a distribution depot in Trelawny.

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