School feeding programme for pupils to resume May 14

The Federal Government says the Home Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP) for primary school pupils will resume on Thursday, May 14.

The programme will begin in Abuja and subsequently in Lagos, Ogun and other states targeting 3,131,971 households for the intervention

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, Minster of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development made the disclosure in a statement by her Special Assistant on Media, Mr Salisu Dambatta on Tuesday in Abuja.

Farouq said the resumption was based on a presidential directive.

She said each household would receive a Take-Home Ration (THR) valued N4,200 made up of five kilogramme bag each of rice and beans, respectively, vegetable oil, palm oil, paste and seasoning.

“The ministry in consultation and collaboration with state governments identified the distribution of take-home rations to the households of the children on the programme as a feasible method of achieving this directive.

“This is a globally accepted means of supporting children to continue to have access to nutrient rich foods despite disruptions to the traditional channels of school feeding by the pandemic.

“The provision of take-home rations will, therefore, be carried out based on data provided and structures put in place by the feeding programme over the years.

“Kwara and Bayelsa where the programme was not fully operational before the lockdown will be able to benefit from the modified programme.

“The target beneficiaries are children in primary one to three in public schools participating in the programme. A total of 3,131,971 households are targeted for this intervention.

“Parents and caregivers of beneficiaries are to collect the take-home rations using vouchers.

“We are employing vouchers which are QR coded, serialized with date and time stamped and identified households will be able to access take-home rations from distribution centers.

“Each household will receive uncooked food items that have been assessed and approved by nutrition experts as adequate for the children.

“However, over 6,000 schools will serve as distribution centers for clusters of communities except in some states with unique security and safety issues where other structures will be used,” Farouq said.

She explained that the ministry had also incorporated rapid sensitization into all phases of this distribution so that people are equipped with the knowledge they needed to stay safe and maintain social distancing.

According to Farouq, the ministry is also deploying resources to provide oversight for these processes to ensure equity and accountability.

She noted that field personnel and monitoring teams had been set up and are ready to move.

“As an extra layer of monitoring, the ministry has requested other agencies of government including the DSS, EFCC, ICPC, Code of Conduct Bureau and a host of NGOs and CSOs to help monitor.

“The ministry’s hotlines will be made available to the public to provide accurate information and for grievance redress,” she said.

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