The Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon. Sarah Adwoa Safo has promised to solve all issues relating to School Feeding for smooth running of the programme at a meeting with the leadership of the Ghana National School Feeding Caterers Association at the Ministry, Accra.
The leadership of the Ghana National School Feeding Caterers Association called on Hon. Sarah Adwoa Safo at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, to present a petition on some purported unfair treatment being meted out to them.
The National President of the Association, Hajia Asana Salifu presenting the petition on behalf of its members, mentioned the delay in payment, inadequate Feeding cost per child(currently at 0.97p per child), operational structure and corruption at the School Feeding Secretariat as issues members of her Association are unhappy with.
In the Petition, members suggested to the Minister that the Ministry negotiate with the Agricultural Development Bank(ADB) to arrange pre-financing arrangements for caterers so they can deduct when government releases funds for their payment.
Hon Sarah Adwoa Safo in welcoming them, commended them for their patience and sacrifice in partnering government in providing nutritious meals to children in public basic schools across the country and assured them of the Ministry’s commitment to ensure the smooth running of the School Feeding Programme as it one of government’s flagship programmes designed to reduce poverty and tackle food insecurity issues in the country.
“Since I came into office, the School Feeding Programme has been at the heart of my agenda. I can assure you that we are working assiduously to ensure that caterers are paid on time and that we resolve all issues which affect the smooth running of the programme.” she stated.
She continued, “The Ghana School Feeding Programme is one of government’s flagship programmes designed to reduce poverty and tackle food insecurity issues especually in the poorest areas of the country with a focus on providing one hot nutritious meal to children in public kindergartens and primary schools and as such, the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government is committed to improving the programme and make it worthwhile for our loyal caterers” she stressed.
She also called for calm among caterers and asked the Association to work hand in hand with the Ministry as they try to improve the programme and its service delivery to pupils in our basic schools across the country.
“I will urge you to stay calm and continue to cook the nutritious meals you have been providing for our school children. The programme has increased the enrollment of pupils in our public schools so I’m pleading with you, for us to work together to get the School Feeding Programme to the desirable state it ought to be.” she concluded.
Over 3,000,000 pupils in about 10,000 schools in all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) are benefiting from the School Feeding Programme which has significantly reduced the incidence of malnutrition, which is the cause of high vulnerability of children to disease and intellectual malfunction.