Six schools to be put on School Meals programme

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The planned expansion of the National Schools Meals programme will see six additional primary schools by January 2019.
Minister of Education, Michael Browne in making the announcement in a recent interview with OBSERVER media, said that currently thousands of meals are served to the nation’s students and the expansion will see another 2,000 to 2,500 added.
“A lot of it has to do with resources, once we have the resources we are able to expand and move as quickly as possible, but, every government is challenged to do everything at the same time so we move incrementally,” he said.
Browne added that
those primary schools that will be added to the programme are located in the southern and eastern parts of Antigua.
“Once we get the requisite equipment, proper facilities, staff and the rest of it, then we are looking forward to expanding. We already have the plans and Cabinet has approved, and now we are just waiting on the funding,” he said.
  According to Browne, the meals that are provided by the government currently cost roughly $14 per plate.
The education minister added that the meals are funded primarily by the direct support of government and through a partnership with the private sector which continues to make donations to the programme.
Meanwhile, Coleen Simpson, the executive chef of the government’s school feeding programme said that approximately 4,600 meals are prepared daily at the kitchen located on Sir George Walter Highway to be distributed to 23 centres before midday.
She noted that while the programme is responsible for providing only one-third of the children’s nutrition for the school day, she is certain that for the most part, the meals provided are nutritionally balanced.
“The menu is designed by a nutritionist, but some of the meals are not as well accepted so we might take something off and replace it and that replacement may not have the same nutritive value as to what the nutritionist put on the menu but we do it for acceptability and to cut back on waste,” Simpson said.

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