Mrs Gertrude Quashigah, the National Coordinator of the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP), has lauded the Government’s decision to increase the number of beneficiaries under the programme next year.
The Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Ken Ofori-Atta, presenting the 2022 Budget Statement to Parliament, said beneficiaries of the Ghana School Feeding Programme would be increased from 3.4 million to over four million in the next academic year.
The number was increased from 1,671,777 in 2016/2017 to 3,448,065 in 2021 by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, resulting in high enrolment figures, high attendance and retention in the beneficiary schools.
Presently, over 32,496 caterers and cooks are employed by the Government under the Programme in over 10,832 public basic schools to provide pupils with one hot nutritious meal on every school going day in all 260 districts nationwide.
Mrs Quashigah told the GNA that, “the planned expansion by the Government means a lot to us – as handlers of school feeding in Ghana, it is always our expectation that the feeding programme is extended to all schools in Ghana to consolidate our achievements and also maintain our accolade given to us by -AUDA-NEPAD and other reputable organisations as the trailblazer in the whole of Africa.”
The expansion of the programme, she noted, would also increase the number of caterers and cooks as well as local farmers and local food suppliers who worked directly or indirectly with the social intervention programme.
Mrs Quashigah called on the Government to expedite action on the passage of the Ghana School Feeding Bill to make it sustainable.