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School Feeding Programme Free school meals should include JHS - Food for All Ghana

Food for All Ghana wants to help the Government extend the School Feeding Programme to include junior high schools as it will curb teenage pregnancy.

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The Ghana School Feeding Programme should be extended to include junior high schools as it will curb teenage pregnancy, a local charity says.

Food for All Ghana, founded and run by chef Elijah Amoo Addo wants to help improve the government feeding programme by redistributing excess food in Ghana.

Amoo Addo uses food donated from companies to create sustainable means of nutrition for the vulnerable in society.

Visiting the Teshie North Methodist Primary school, on 25 February, Food for All Ghana spoke to students about food waste, while donating food recovered from suppliers.

Through Ghana, Amoo Addo organises free breakfasts from donated food, has a farming programme to promote sustainable crop and livestock farming, and this year will run a forum for stakeholders within the food industry to combat supply inefficiencies within the food supply chain.

Over the past year, Food for All Ghana has been visiting hospitals, orphanages and vulnerable communities through Ghana, and now wants to help schools, especially advocating for junior high schools to be included in the Government's School Feeding Programme, which feeds over 1.7 million school children through the country and in doing so, keeps students in school.

Amoo Addo said the School Feeding Programme was a great initiative however, it could be improved.

“We heard in the news quite recently how junior high school students have to hire themselves to sex because they don't have money to buy food before going to school . If it can be improved and extended to the junior high schools we believe the prevalence of teenage pregnancy and social vices which takes our girls and students from the schools will go down...Food for All is the solution in improving and extending the national school feeding programme.”

The stakeholder forum he was organising this year will bring together different government departments and others in the food industry. Through the forum he will encourage stakeholders within the supply chain to support schools through the feeding programme by donating surplus food to be used in the school meals.

“It is very serious when children are out of school because of hunger and within our food supply chain we are wasting 30 per cent of food in Ghana. Businesses have significant and unique abilities to combat the root causes of hunger and food wastage in Ghana. Kids under the school feeding program are fed on 80 pesewa per day and the school feeding programme must be extended to include children in the junior high school.”

Head teacher of the Teshie North Methodist Primary, Gifty Agbugblah said while the Government programme was good, it could also be improved, especially the payments to the caterers.

This year, caterers boycotted cooking for the school for two weeks to demand payment.

That led to poor school attendance.

“Most of them [pupils] come from poor homes, so they come and there's no food,  it brings their morale down.”

The Circuit Supervisor for Ledzokuku North Circuit, Teshie, Ivy Akosua Adjei Twum said the intervention programme worked well and boosted enrollments and attendance at the schools.

"There was low enrollment, so now it is helping. They come, they eat, they learn.”

She appreciated the support from Food For All Ghana.

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