JIS: The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information is moving to strengthen the operations of Nutrition Products Limited (NPL) in Kingston.
This is being done to expand its output and increase the number of early childhood, primary and high school students islandwide who are provided with meals, Portfolio Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, has said.
Nutrition Products Limited currently provides approximately 300,000 students in over 800 schools with breakfast and/or lunch each week.
They include youngsters on the Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH), and others deemed vulnerable.
Speaking with journalists following a tour of NPL’s production facilities at its head office on Marcus Garvey Drive, yesterday (January 31), the Minister expressed satisfaction with NPL’s operations.
“The company is very efficient…and the products are wonderful. I am seeing a tremendous effort to focus on the use of local products. I think they are really focused on that clear policy directive,” he added.
Among the meals produced are: sandwiches, muffins, bread, rock cakes, cornmeal porridge, cream of wheat, flavoured milk and juices.
“My tour is to get a first-hand look at their capacity so that the NPL’s team and the Ministry can have a clear strategy about how we are going to deliver on our commitment. We want to see how we can strengthen the operations so that we can serve our children much better,” the Minister said.
Senator Reid said as part of the strategy to increase meal provisions, the Government increased the Ministry’s allocation for this engagement this year by $2.4 billion to $5.2 billion, noting that this “has been the largest movement within our budget.”
“So, the Government is really committed to reaching out to the poor and vulnerable (students in our schools),” the Minister assured.
An agency of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Nutrition Products Limited was established in 1973.
It produces and distributes nutritious snacks to schools from its plants in Kingston, St. Mary and Westmoreland.
CAPTION: Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid (right), and Special Advisor, Robert Miller (centre), examine bulla cakes manufactured by Nutrition Products Limited, during a tour of the entity on Marcus Garvey Drive in Kingston on January 31. At left is Chief Executive Officer of Nutrition Products, Orville Lewinson.-