The National Homegrown School Feeding scheme which was conceptualized by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has reached Anambra state, with the feeding of primary school pupils.
Speaking today, Thursday, at the launching of the scheme in Awka, capital of Anambra State, Mr. Dotun Adebayo who is the Special Assistant on Homegrown School Feeding Programme in the Office of the Vice President, said: “the pupils were excited and enjoyed the meals.”
According to him, the cooks in the three schools he visited with his team, served ‘Okpa’ a.k.a moin-moin, garnished with vegetables to the delight of the pupils who took the meals during their break time about noon.
The schools he visited with a team of federal and state officials were Community Primary School, Awka South, Central School Ameobi, and Central School in Nibo.
A statement by the senior special assistant to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Mr. Laolu Akande said that an estimated 76, 690 pupils in 1,050 schools would be served every day of school, adding that the feeding programme caters to pupils from primary one to three.
“Having met the stated requirements for Federal Government funding for the Homegrown School Feeding, a sum of N53, 687, 900 had been released directly to cooks for the kick-off of the school feeding programme in Anambra, to last till the end of the current school term.
“All the cooks were recruited from communities around the primary schools for the program, verified and trained to provide the catering service in the 21 LGAs in the State.
“Generally, the Homegrown School Feeding programme, which is one of the Social Investment plans of the Buhari presidency, is driven through community participation where residents in the community are engaged as cooks to provide feeding services. Also the programme leverages on the agricultural produce available within the communities.
“The Homegrown School Feeding programme of the Buhari administration will not only boost school enrollment and improve the nutritional status of the pupils, it would also stimulate local farming, while equally creating jobs including the 774 cooks now in gainful employment in Anambra State.
“While the 2016 Budget of Change made provision for funding of the feeding programme in 18 states, a total of 17 States have concluded the designing of the School feeding models through state-level multi-sectorial capacity building workshops, based on FG’s stipulated requirements. Those states will proceed in the planning and would soon get to the implementation stage.
“The 17 states are Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi, Enugu, Sokoto, Kaduna, Borno, Zamfara, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Benue, Plateau, Taraba, Delta, Abia and Bauchi. Estimated figures from 15 of these states put the numbers of pupils to be feed at over 3.4 million.
“Also the Federal Government has successfully conducted food safety and hygiene training for over 25,000 cooks in 9 states (out of the 17). According to the 2016 budget, provision was made for the feeding programme in 18 states of the federation.”