Caterers under the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP), have vowed they will not cook if the government does not increase their money per child to GHC3.00
They bemoaned the high cost of food stuffs and the general hardship in the country is making it difficult to feed the children. According to the Caterers, they are making huge losses at the current price allocation by the government.
They further indicated that in 2018, the allowance was reviewed from 80 pesewas per child to GHC1.00 which also attracts a tax of 30 pesewas leaving them with 97 pesewas.
This makes it impossible for them to carry on with their services and thus, the suspension of their services until their demands are met by government.
However, SEND GHANA has keenly followed recent agitations and threats of strike action by caterers under the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) over the increment in feeding grant and unpaid arrears. And also taken notice of the ongoing negotiation between the leadership of the National School Feeding Caterers Association and the government as part of the effort to address the impasse.
In a statement signed by Mr. Siapha Kamara, CEO of SEND West Africa, and copied to News Ghana, SEND GHANA is glad that the school feeding caterers have decided to rescind their decision to embark on an indefinite strike as the government continues to engage with them on their demands.
According to the statement, “SEND believes the cascading effect of such strike actions, if carried out by the caterers, would have been dire!
SEND GHANA contends that the grievances of the caterers are justified and resonate with the sentiments of many Ghanaians.
Even the school feeding secretariat in recent years, have asked government to increase the grant amount allocation.
Indeed, SEND GHANA has consistently called for an upward review of the feeding amount drawing evidence from its annual Budget Forums and assessment of government budget statements and economic policies.
As recent as 2021, SEND GHANA conducted a monitoring survey on the GSFP, focusing on the tendering process and contracting of caterers.
The survey, which was inspired by the Auditor General’s Report of 2018, shows that when it comes to challenges faced by caterers, overwhelmingly 100 percent of them underscored persistent delays in payment and inadequate grant size as among the principal factors undermining the quality-of-service delivery to the school children.
The school feeding programme holds a greater potential to accelerate Ghana’s progress towards the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals on hunger, poverty, and malnutrition.
It is, therefore, critical that government and stakeholders prioritize addressing issues affecting the efficient implementation of the programme while instituting sustainable measures to avert the possible recurrence of the same in the future.
SEND GHANA respectfully urge the government to heed the legitimate calls to address the grievances of the caterers in the interest and welfare of the over 3 million school children who rely on the school feeding to be able to stay in school.”