Thursday, April 23, 2009

School Feeding must be wholesome

Story: Hadiza Nuhhu Billa Quansah

The Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) Secretariat has cautioned that caterers who prepare food with contaminated ingredients for the schoolchildren will have their contracts withdrawn.

This is to ensure that caterers provide schoolchildren under the GSFP with balanced and nutritious meals daily to avoid instances of food poisoning and other complaints associated with eating bad food.

The Co-ordinator of the GSFP, Mr Michael Kenneth Nsowah, who made this known to the Junior Graphic, said the basic concept of the programme was to provide children in public primary schools and kindergartens with one hot, nutritious meal prepared from locally grown foodstuffs every school day.

“The secretariat does not, therefore, see the reason why rotten food products or unwholesome ingredients will be used in the preparation of the meals, which will end up putting the lives of innocent children at risk,” he stressed.

Mr Nsowah disclosed that currently the number of children benefiting from the GSFP had shot up from 477,714 to 596,083 across the country, adding that the secretariat hoped to reach 800,000 pupils by the end of this year.

He said the GSFP had whipped up the interest of children from low school enrolment districts and those living in the poorest and most insecure food districts to eagerly look forward to attending school.

 “Interestingly, some parents go to the extent of moving their children from one community to another to attend school simply because meals are served in those schools,” he mentioned.

Mr Nsowah urged parents and teachers to debunk the rumour that the programme had been suspended, saying that the government had approved GH¢15 million for the smooth running of the GSFP for the academic year. 


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