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Minister Says School-Feeding Programme Progressing Well

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JIS: Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, says the national school feeding programme is progressing satisfactorily.


Speaking at today’s (September 26) post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House, the Minister informed that the Government has provided a substantial amount of resources to the programme.


“When the Government came into power (in 2016), one of the first things that we did was to increase the school-feeding budget by 47 per cent, so we are now up to $4.7 billion for the allocation for the Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH),” he said.


Senator Reid pointed out that, so far, 98 per cent of schools have their own canteens.


He also disclosed that the Government is paying approximately 1,007 cooks to ensure that students are provided with “cooked, very balanced and nutritious meals, rather than relying on baked products coming out of Nutrition Products Limited (NPL)”.


The Minister said that for the schools without their own canteens, the Ministry is now seeking to ensure that NPL provides support for them.


Senator Reid said as far as the Ministry is concerned, the programme is moving in the right direction and urged school administrators to communicate with regional offices to update the Ministry on issues that may arise.


“We say to schools that they need to ensure they communicate with their regional offices on a very timely basis, because each year we require the schools to indicate the enrolment and the students who are on PATH, as we only allocate resources based on their registered and verified persons,” he added.


The Government, through the Ministry of Education, has been working to expand the scope of the programme, by increasing the number of products that are provided.


CAPTION: Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, addresses today’s (September 26) post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House.