Serve nutritional meals to pupils, caterers urged

Accra- Caterers under the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) have been asked to serve pupils with nourishing meals to provide them with the vital nutrients needed to develop.

Mrs Paulina Koranteng, the Acting National Coordinator of GSFP, said this at the opening of the maiden three-day nutrition and innovative training for the caterers in the Greater Accra Region.

The event was held under the auspices of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection.

On the back of past observations, the Programmeorganisers sought to provide practical hands-on training sessions for caterers to better understand and implement healthy cooking skills and correct food practices.

She said the training would create the awareness of providing nutritious meals through innovative ways of cooking, equip the caterers and cooks with the requisite skills and knowledge on hygiene and sanitation, as well as using the workshop as a pilot project to help generate an ecological menu for the beneficiaries.

MrsKoranteng said caterers play important roles in the implementation and sustainability of the GSFP and equipping them would directly translate into improving the nutrition content of food for school children under GSFP.

Providing nutritional meals, MrsKoranteng said, would be fulfilling the objective of the Programme, which was introduced in 2005 in the context of the comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) Pillar III, which seeks to reduce hunger and malnutrition, increase school enrolment, attendance and retention in addition to boosting domestic food production.

All human beings need nutritious food because we eat to live and food is medicine and without it, we cannot survive, the Acting Coordinator said.

Beneficiaries from selected Public Primary Schools and Kindergarten in deprived areas across the country are to be served with one hot meal per each school day, using locally grown food stuff.

Also, GSFP was initiated to accomplish Ghana’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals One and Two: geared towards ending poverty and to end hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition while sustaining agriculture, respectively.

Mrs Gertrude Quarshigah, a nutritionist, said nutrition was not about the quantity of food consumed but ensuring the right nutrients were consumed to meet the dietary needs of the consumer.

She advised the caterers to use more of vegetables in their meals and commended the Ministry for introducing Soya Bean powder which would be used to fortify meals prepared for the children.

Source: Ghana News Agency