National School Feeding Caterers Association has rejected a proposed 20 pesewas increment on the current ₵1 allocation per meal for school pupils under the School Feeding Programme.
They are preparing to hit the street in a demonstration on Wednesday, June 7, if the matters are not resolved.
Addressing the challenges at a meet the press on Sunday, June 4, the Gender Minister, Lariba Zuweira Abudu said the ministry has proposed a ₵1.20 cost per meal effective 2023.
“In 2023, the cost per meal, per child, per day has currently been proposed as ₵1.20, and we’re still in talks with the Ministry of Finance to see how best we can help, if it can be reviewed, we’ll let you know.”
“As at April 2023, the ministry in collaboration with Ministry of Finance has paid the first and second term arrears of 2022 academic year, I want to give the assurance here that, next week caterers’ arrears will be paid.”
“We have done all the validation, we have done the auditing and I want to ensure that the auditing and due diligence is done so next week we’re paying,” she assured.
However, the National Secretary of the School Feeding Caterers’ Association Dorothy Ofori Sarpong says the amount is woefully inadequate to feed the children.
“We don’t understand why the government is saying that it cannot pay more than ₵1.20 because it is a grant by the World Bank, so I think there is a figure for each child so why is it difficult for them?”
“It’s a grant so if that grant keeps coming then I don’t see why you cannot afford paying ₵2 for each child, this ₵1.20 cannot provide any nutritious food for them and there is a fund, they cannot tell us there are no funds.”
“World Bank Country Director is saying that there is a grant for it, unless they tell us that it is not true,” she lamented.
Madam Dorothy says some schools have still not been paid between 2019 and 2020 and they have requested the former Gender Minister, Cynthia Mamle Morrison to give accounts but has still not shown up.
“There are schools that have not been paid for 2019, first term, second term, third term and then when you come to 2020, first term, second term, third term, there are still non-payment schools over there.”
“And the hot meal that we did for the JHS students during COVID 19, some have still not been paid by Cynthia Morrison, we’ve been calling that woman to come and render accounts but to no avail,” she said.
Caterers under the school feeding programme declared a nationwide strike in April, demanding payment of all arrears and an increase of ₵3.50 in the cost per meal.
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