Education Ministry Invites Proposals for School Feeding Projects

first_imgThe Ministry of Education is inviting small community enterprises to submit proposals for school feeding projects that will support the Government’s efforts to fulfill the nutritional needs of students.Portfolio Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, in his contribution to the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate in Gordon House on May 15, said the initiative “should open up huge opportunities for farmers, small community enterprises and voluntary inputs”.“Communities need to come forward with credible projects to feed school children using local products wherever possible. We will consider giving them money to help,” he stated.“All the Ministry of Education wants to know is that the nutrition is adequate, that no needy child is denied and there is accountability for the money,” he pointed out.Minister Thwaites appealed to Members of Parliament from rural constituencies to support the initiative, pointing to a school feeding experiment in North West St. Elizabeth that is doing well.“It is feeding the children, largely using local produce and weaning them from the diet of fried chicken and rice every day,” he stated.The Minister informed that there is just over $4 billion available this year to feed the nation’s school children, including students under the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH).“Right, now we are offering 136,000 units of bulla and bag juice daily. In addition, we spend nearly $3 billion buying foreign dry goods. We feel we must do much better,” he stated.He informed that Nutrition Products Limited will increase its volumes and diversify its offerings to include, for example, muffins with sweet potato, carrot or banana. “We have also made provision to use local eggs instead of imported butter oil,” he noted.“We must use local fruits in increasing proportions to manufacture a nutritious drink. Can you imagine having to import juice concentrate from Vietnam and Indonesia? This is a small business opportunity,” the Minister pointed out further.Contact: Alecia Smith-Edwardslast_img

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