More than 5,711 caterers and head cooks in the five Regions in northern Ghana are expected to receive intensive training to sharpen their cooking skills.
The Acting National Coordinator, Mrs Gertrude Quashigah told participants in Tumu that preparations were being made to ensure school children under the programme were fed with cocoa drink daily by August this year.
“The cocoa drink will be given as breakfast to the children before their daily hot nutritious meal is served to them,” she said.
She was addressing about 368 caterers and cooks from Sissala East Municipal and Sissala District during a training session that centred on quality of meal served to the kids, welfare of caterers and how to expand as well as sustain the programme to benefit many more Ghanaian children.
Similar training took place in the Wa Municipal but it is not clear the number of cooks and caterers that attended.
The training comes at a time when President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is expected to launch the introduction of the cocoa drink in Ghanaian schools by August 2019.
Mrs Quashigah was optimistic that serving children with cocoa drink would help improve their health conditions, adding, several innovations were being pursued to improve the school feeding programme.
Ghana introduced the school feeding programme to help increase school enrolment, attendance and retention as well as reduce short term hunger and malnutrition and boost domestic food production in the long run.
The training dubbed: “Innovative Nutrition Initiative”, is on the theme: “Improving School Meals through Capacity Building”.
Mrs Quashigah highlighted the main goal of the workshop to include helping participants to use meal planner software to generate district based menu.
It would also help them deepen relations with and involve Regional Coordinating Councils, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies in managing an efficient and effective home-grown school feeding programme.
The World Food Programme with technical support from Partnership for Child Development funded the capacity-building programme.