Thursday 9 April, 2020

Govt targets 100,000 children for school-feeding programme

From left to right: Andrei Roper, Brand Manager, ROJ; Dr. Grace McLean, Acting Permanent Secretary, MOEYI; Karl Samuda, Minister without Portfolio, MOEYI; Tina Matalon, Marketing Director, ROJ; Kevin Downswell,  Gospel Artiste and KFC Add Hope Brand Ambassador; Andrew Narine, CEO of NPL; and Dr Kasan Troupe, Acting Chief Education Officer, MOEYI.

From left to right: Andrei Roper, Brand Manager, ROJ; Dr. Grace McLean, Acting Permanent Secretary, MOEYI; Karl Samuda, Minister without Portfolio, MOEYI; Tina Matalon, Marketing Director, ROJ; Kevin Downswell, Gospel Artiste and KFC Add Hope Brand Ambassador; Andrew Narine, CEO of NPL; and Dr Kasan Troupe, Acting Chief Education Officer, MOEYI.

Government is aiming to provide 100,000 vulnerable children in infant and primary schools with meals at no cost to them under the school feeding programme in the next financial year, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information (MOEYI) Karl Samuda disclosed on Thursday.

This would be 30,000 more than the 70,000 children fed under the programme this year.

“This year because of the increase in our budget, the permanent secretary advises me that she is reliably informed we will pursue an increase 70,000 to 100,000 children (to be fed under the programme),” Samuda stated.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information (MOEYI) Karl Samuda.

He was speaking at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the MOEYI, Nutrition Products Limited (NPL) and Restaurants of Jamaica at the Mona Heights Primary School in St Andrew on Thursday.

The school-feeding programme received a boost when ROJ, the parent company of the popular KFC chain of restaurants, handed over a donation of $7.4 million to the ministry through NPL to aid providing meals under the programme.

Tina Matalon, Marketing Manager at ROJ noted that her company had now donated more than $13 million under KFC’s Add Hope feeding initiative since 2018, providing 250,000 meals to students in government schools at the primary and early childhood levels. 

Matalon revealed that $1.1 million was donated by ROJ to the initiative through the “Goals for Meals” campaign in the recent schoolboy football season run by the Inter-Secondary School Sports Association (ISSA). Under the campaign, $600 was donated by ROJ for every goal scored in the first round DaCosta Cup and Manning Cup competitions.

She also thanked KFC customers for their in-store donations of $1.8 million made to the programme in October last year which was observed as World Food Month.

The contributions, she said would ensure “that even more children in need would receive nutritious meals during this academic year.”

Samuda in thanking ROJ for the donation said the programme “hits at the heart of our strategy to get the children to concentrate and to learn.”

Andrew Narine, Chief Executive Officer of (NPL) revealed that the company had distributed 70,000 breakfast solutions to students since January.

NPL is the state-owned company that provides and distributes meals to students in government schools at no cost to the beneficiaries. 

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