By James Esuon, GNA
Nyakrom (C/R), March
18, GNA - The Government has paid a total of 186 million cedis to caterers
nationwide under the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) for the first quarter
of this year.
Mrs Cynthia Morrison, the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection (GCSP), and Member of Parliament for Agona West, said the Government attached great importance to the Programme and would do everything within its reach to sustain it.
Mrs Morrison was speaking during the International School Meals Day (ISMD) at Agona Nyakrom on the theme: “Who Makes My Meal”.
It is to launch a unique campaign to raise awareness on good nutrition for all children.
This year’s celebration marks the seventh commemoration of the ISMD after the first was observed in the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America (USA) in 2013.
Mrs Morrison said the enrolment in schools had, over the years, increased under the programme in fulfilment of government’s objective of ensuring every Ghanaian child of school going age had access to education.
She said a system had been developed to hook every caterer onto it to make payment easier and urged them to cook balanced diets for the children to enhance their healthy growth.
She commended the Agona West caterers for the quality food they had been preparing since the School Feeding Programme began in the area.
Mrs Morrison donated 1,200 exercise books, 1,200 plastic drinking cups and plates and plastic buckets fitted with pipes to four School Feeding beneficiary schools at Nyakrom.
Dr Mrs Gertrude Quarshigah, the Acting National Coordinator of the GSFP, said the Day was unique because it aimed at raising awareness on the need for good nutrition for all children.
She said since 2010, the UK and USA had been sharing examples of policies and practices in promoting healthy eating in schools.
Dr Mrs Quarshigah underscored the need to cook locally grown foods for the children adding that the programme was helping to improve the income of farmers to improve their living conditions.
“Let’s grow what we eat and eat what we grow,” she said.
She, therefore, urged the school feeding caterers to use green leafy vegetables, especially sweet potato, cassava and cocoyam leaves to boost the nutrients of their meals.
Mrs Justina Marigold Assan, the Agona West Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), said the School Feeding Programme, introduced by former President John Agyekum Kufuor, had increased enrolment in schools in the Municipality.
She said Agona West had 24 schools under the Programme and appealed to the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection to add more schools to increase enrolment.
Okofo Katakyi Nyakoh Eku X, the Omanhen of Agona Nyakrom Traditional Area, commended the Minister for organizing holding the celebration in the area.
He appealed to the Ministry to increase the number of schools benefiting from the programme and asked the caterers not to contaminate the food they prepared for pupils.
The Omanhen called on the development partners to support the Ghana School Feeding Programme, adding that since the programme started more children of school going age had been enrolled.