KINGSTON — A sum of $46.85 million has been allocated in the 2011/12 Estimates of Expenditure, which is now before the Standing Finance Committee of the House of Representatives, to improve the operations of the School Feeding Programme.
The programme, which started in July 2010 through funding from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Government of Jamaica, is a fundamental part of the Ministry of Education’s welfare programme.
It seeks to encourage greater and more regular school attendance; alleviate hunger; enhance the learning capacity of the students by providing a meal and or a snack; to educate children on the value of food through nutrition education classes; and to encourage the children to grow their own food by establishing and supporting school gardens.
The allocation for the fiscal year will go towards undertaking an institutional assessment of the programme, including conducting stakeholder consultations; initiating a financial and operational audit of Nutrition Products Limited; and developing terms of reference for feasibility studies and market analysis for options to the snack products.
As of January 2011, two stakeholder consultations have been conducted, so too an operational assessment of the feeding subsidy for students benefitting under the Programme for the Advancement of Health and Education (PATH).
The project is scheduled to end in July 2012.
By LATONYA LINTON, JIS Reporter