JIS News

The Government has added $600 million to the budget for the School Feeding Programme for 2009/10 under the Ministry of Education.
According to the figures available in the First Supplementary Estimates tabled in the House of Representatives on Tuesday (September 22), the additional $600 million increases the budget for the students’ nutrition programme in 2009/10 from $932,110 to $1.5 billion.
Prime Minister, the Hon.Bruce Golding, told a Town Hall Meeting in Annotto Bay St. Mary, earlier this month, that the Ministry of Education was in dialogue with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce to replace imported foods with local produce.
He said that the Scientific Research Council (SRC) was already working on a project to incorporate locally produced foods into the programme, to help boost local agricultural production while filling the children’s nutritional needs.
Each year, the Government allocates funds to a nutrition programme in schools. The support comes in the form of nutri-bun and milk; the provision of commodities such as rice, flour, cornmeal, vegetable oil, and tin protein; and cash grants to purchase meat and ground provisions.
“Basically, that supports schools in line with the poverty map and in rural areas. There are certain critical schools in the Corporate Area and in certain inner city communities, as well as in the (other) urban areas that are supported,” Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness, has explained.
In addition, the Programme for Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH), which is administered by the Ministry of Social Security, supports certain students whose families have been identified as in need, based on an identification system, to benefit from the programme. The Ministry of Education is given a list of these students each year. The list now stands at approximately 119,000 students.

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