The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, will expand the School Feeding Programme to all schools across the country, Madam Cynthia Morrison, sector Minister has said, following its successful implementation since 2005.
“If everyone is enjoying free senior high school, it is equally fair for everyone to enjoy school feeding,” she said during a panel discussion on the topic; “Protecting the vulnerable through enhanced access to education, jobs and social services.”
The discussion is part of the Ghana Results Fair 2020 organised on the broader theme: “Delivering results for our citizens: A work in progress.”
Madam Morrison said some schools were losing students to neighbouring ones because they were not on the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP), a trend common among some cluster schools.
The programme has improved enrollment from about 2.67 million pupils between 2016/2017 academic year, to about 2.93 million pupils in 2019, she added: “This shows that hunger and poverty are reasons why children could not enroll in school.”
She cited local meals like as ‘Konkonte’ and peanut butter soup, ‘gari fortor’, ampesi and kontomire stew as some of the meals to be added to the menu to provide nutritious meals and improve its quality.
She said the GSFP would depend on food stuff from local farms with bulk supply of Ghana rice and beans through the Buffer Stock and vegetables and fruits were expected to increase profit margins of local producers.
Through the school feeding programme, the Minister said 24,207 women were engaged as cooks and with its expansion additional numbers would be engaged.
She called for kitchens in the schools to ensure proper supervision of food prepared and to promote hygiene, saying: “even though foods prepared are hygienic we can’t let them cook from their homes without supervision going forward.”
The GSFP introduced in 2005 is an initiative of the comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme, which seeks to enhance food security and reduce hunger, poverty and malnutrition.