The Education Ministry says it’s lobbying Cabinet to increase the food benefits that the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education, PATH, students receive in schools.
There are more than 174,000 students across early childhood, primary and secondary institutions are on the PATH programme.
The Education Ministry provides meals five times per week for PATH students.
PATH students at the Early Childhood level receive $120 per day for lunches while students from Grade 4 to the secondary level get $150.
Acting-Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Grace McLean, says that figure isn’t enough.
Meanwhile, Minister without Portfolio in the Education, Youth and Information, Karl Samuda says the nutritional value of the foods that students are consuming each day must be addressed.
He says nutrition plays a key role in the way a child performs at school.
He’s supported by Dr. Grace Mclean, who says discussions are already underway with the Ministry of Agriculture to formally introduce local produce within the school feeding program.
Dr. Mclean says the arrangement is for them to work with the Nutrition Products Limited.
She says Nutrition Products limited along with other entities will coordinate with local farmers, who will be responsible for supplying the provisions.
Mclean says the both ministries are also working in coordination to prepare a comprehensive school feeding manual.
She says the comprehensive school feeding manual includes creative ways to prepare local produce for students.
She says she is expecting administrators to utilize these menus in school.