JIS News

The Ministry of Education and Youth has allocated $1 billion to the School Feeding Programme for the new school year, which begins on Monday, September 10.
Speaking at a JIS Think Tank on (Sept. 5), Director of the School Feeding Unit in the Ministry, Helen Robertson, explained that there are two components to the programme – the traditional cooked lunch and the nutribun and milk/drink component – under which thousands of students at primary, all-age, basic, and selected high schools are provided with a nutritious meal on a daily basis.
Under the traditional component of the programme, some 636 schools will receive vegetable oil, long grain white rice, cornmeal, canned mackerel, canned beef and flour to provide lunches for 175,000 students in addition to a feeding grant of $350 for each student. In addition to the commodities, students at the basic school level will receive $250.
“The feeding grant is used to provide protein and other items to facilitate the programme,” Miss Robertson explained, noting that 87,000 basic school students are slated to benefit.
In terms of the nutribun and milk/drink programme, she told JIS News that approximately 136,000 children will be fed daily under this component.
According to Miss Robinson, “there is at least one component of the programme in every school except technical and traditional high schools. We don’t provide school feeding to every child in the school; it is a percentage thereof, based on where your school is located.”
She pointed out further that, “you may have 100 per cent of students on the programme in a particular school, maybe in an inner city area, but in a more affluent school in another area, you may not have that percentage of students in need. The Government’s policy is that no child is to be refused nutritional support because of an inability to pay.”
Miss Robertson noted that the programme, which began in the 1930s, is not only designed to provide nutritional support to students but to encourage attendance and enable learning as well.
“The main objectives are to encourage greater and more regular school attendance, to alleviate hunger and enhance the learning capacity of students by providing a meal or a nutri-bun snack, and to educate the students on the value of nutrition through nutrition education classes,” she said.

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