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Vegetarian options added to School Feeding Programme

Vegetarian options  added to School Feeding Programme

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Vegetarian meals are now being offered to students in primary schools across St Vincent and the Grenadines as part of the school feeding programme.

Parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Education Deborah Charles made this disclosure during her contribution to the budget debate in Parliament Wednesday.{{more}}

“…When this programme began, all of the children were given meats and fish; today I am proud to say that the meals are now catering for students who are from homes that are vegetarians, so that all of our children can take part in the programme.”

According to Charles, the meals provided by the Government are taken by about 60 per cent of the students in primary schools.

“In most schools…we have close to 100 per cent children having meals; in very few schools we have fewer than 50 per cent, but on an average, we have just about 60 per cent of the children in primary taking these meals at school,” she stated.

“The ministry intends to promote good nutrition and we are hoping that at some point we could extend this feeding programme to the secondary level as well.”

Charles added that not only are students offered lunches at the school, but now with the help of partners such as the Mustique Charitable Trust the Ministry is now able to offer students hot breakfasts as well.

“It is important for us to understand…that many of our children, if they were not being fed at school, would not be able to come to school and that’s the stark reality.”

The meals cost an average of $2.50 a week.

“Nowhere in the world can you have a child getting a meal for $0.50 a day,” Charles said.

She also thanked farmers, parents and other partners of the school, particularly in the rural areas, who support the programme by donating food, especially vegetables, fish and meat.

In addition to taking care of the children’s nutrition, Charles disclosed that the Ministry has been working on the development of school safety plans.

“This school safety plan does not necessarily take care of an incident that may occur as a result of natural disasters, but it also takes care of a violent parent, or a student who may have hatred enough for a teacher or another student and brings a gun into the classroom.”

She added that although St Vincent is viewed as a peaceful country, we still must be mindful that we are living in a a global community.

“So, it is necessary to start thinking outside the box. We look at St Vincent as a peaceful country, but we have to understand that we are living in a global village and what happens in the United States can easily happen in St Vincent,” Charles stated. (CM)

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