Free Feeding of School Pupils Kicks Off In Kaduna With White Yam And Sauce
The free feeding program of the Kaduna State Government has commenced in all public schools across the 225 wards of the state; the first meal being served with white Yam and Sauce.
About 1.8 million pupils are expected to be fed daily in the program.
The program was flagged-off on Monday by the state Governor, Nasiru El-Rufai, at a community primary school in Kaduna South Local government Area of the state (Aliyu Makama LEA, Barnawa), a suburb of Kaduna metropolis.
A visit by Conscience Triumph to some of the public primary schools within the state shows that the program has begun; food vendors were at the schools premises with various sizes of food warmers to commence feeding of pupils as planned.
In LGEA primary school, Narayi (a ward under Chikun Local Government Area), the food vendors arrived at the school premises at about 9.00am. There are three public schools under the ward with a total of 2,615 pupils.
According to the Narayi ward President of the food vendors’ cooperative society, Mercy Joshua, the government has sent the money for the week’s feeding since last Thursday into their account, with a food time-table for the week. She added that, there are 28 food vendors to cover the three schools within the ward and every vendor is expected to feed 350 pupils.
She however pointed out that, the major challenge they faced on the first day was that most of the pupils didn’t come with their plates from home as it was expected, but however encouraged them to bring it along on the next day.
The school feeding Supervisor of the ward, Esther Bala, gave the food plan (time-table) to be: Mondays – Yam and Sauce; Tuesdays – Rice and Beans with Oranges; Wednesdays – Beans Porridge with Vegetables and Fish; Thursdays – Moimoi garnished with Vegetables; and then on Fridays, Juice or Yoghurt with Biscuits or Snacks to be given to the children.
In his response, Headmaster of the school, Bala Barde, thanked the government for initiating the program, saying, it will encourage the children and retain them in school. “When children get fed and are satisfied, it helps to make the child concentrate while in class.”
While praying for the success of the program, Barde urged the government to make more provisions to enable the school admit more children.
During the flagged-off ceremony, Governor El-Rufai noted that, the feeding intervention was necessary so as to boost nutrition, health of the children, and also encourage school attendance.
He pointed out that the free feeding program is part of the free education project initiated by his administration to expand access to education and ensure that every child has nine years of free, decent basic education, no matter the income level of their parents.
He further posited that, the program is directly creating 17,000 jobs for caterers, who in turn will employ others to support them, thereby, empowering them to expand their businesses.
A cross section of the pupils expressed happiness over the commencement of the program and prayed for its sustenance.