Millions to improve student nutrition
The Government will be spending $60 million on the implementation of a project aimed at bolstering the national school feeding programme.
The programme, 'Strengthening the School Feeding Programme in Jamaica', is being funded by the Government of Jamaica and the Food and Agriculture Organisation. It will be piloted in four schools.
Details of the funds are contained in the 2016-2017 Estimates of Expenditure, which is now before the House of Representatives.
The three-year project, which gets under way this month, aims to improve the governance of the food and nutrition service, facilitate greater collaboration among Government, private sector, and non-governmental organisations involved in school feeding, and to mobilise communities to provide the services that the programme will require.
Anticipated targets for 2016-2017 are the building of multi-institutional and inter-sectoral coordination, provision of support for social participation in school feeding at the community level, undertaking needs assessment of four school clusters, and community farm families.
Focus will also be placed on improving food and nutrition education learning by developing school gardens in the four pilot schools; and development of curriculum and monitoring guidelines for the gardens based on the Jamaica 4-H Clubs' School Garden Programme.
Under the programme, school infrastructure and equipment, as well as kitchen and dining areas, will be upgraded.
Direct purchases will be made from family farms to provide ready-to-cook produce for the schools.