JIS News

When the new school year officially begins on September 6, Principals should have received their payments, and distribution of food items to schools would have commenced.
This announcement was made by the Director of the School Feeding Programme, Helen Robertson, during an interview with JIS News, today (August 24).
“I would like to let our principals know that schools who receive their payments for the Programme for Advancement through Health and Education (PATH) nutritional support and feeding grants via electronic transfers to their school accounts, that we are in the process of transferring the funds now, so principals are asked to check with their banks to ensure that the funds have been received,” she said.
“Schools that are paid by cheques will receive these payments through their Regional Offices during the first week of September and as it relates to the Nutrition Products Limited (NPL) component, it will begin deliveries on Tuesday, September 7 and we are reminding our school administrators that the cost of a nutribun snack (solid and liquid together) is $2,” she added.
The Director is urging schools that may experience challenges, to contact her at 967-4498 or helen.robertson@moe.gov.jm.
In the meantime, Miss Robertson pointed out that the number of beneficiaries for the nutribun and cooked lunch components remain the same, with an exception for the PATH beneficiaries, which has increased.
“We are having the same numbers as last year in terms of the nutribun component. They will have 136,000 beneficiaries from 836 schools. On the cooked lunch component of the programme, there are 175,000 beneficiaries in 636 schools and this year we have had an increase in the provision made for the students on the PATH nutritional support, that has moved to 220,000, up from 186,000 last year,” Miss Robertson informed.
According to the Director, the programme has ultimately resulted in improved academic performances.
“What we do know is that it [the school feeding programme] has motivated parents to enroll their children in school and ensure that they attend regularly. We have definitely alleviated short term hunger and in doing this, we have helped the students to increase their attention span and concentration and this of course has led to increased learning and cognitive functions, and it has also helped to reduce absenteeism, so that educational outcomes have improved,” she pointed out.
The Ministry of Education’s School Feeding Programme is geared at encouraging more regular school attendance; to alleviate hunger; and to enhance the learning capacities of students by providing a meal or a nutri-bun snack. Children are also educated about the value of food through nutrition education classes.

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