School feeding: 37,589 families benefit in Lagos
The Federal Government has commenced the distribution of foodstuff as palliatives to parents and guardians of pupils in public primary schools 1-3 classes across Lagos State.
Tribune Online reports that it started the distribution on Thursday with a total of 37, 589 families to benefit across the state and with the World Food Programme of the United Nations providing technical support.
The palliatives is an extension of the home-grown school feeding programme of the Federal Government as a way of cushioning the effects of COVID-19 pandemic on beneficiaries.
And the expectation is for the parents to cook the food of comprising 5kg rice, 5kg beans, 500ml of vegetable oil, 750ml of palm oil, a half crate of eggs, 500mg of salt and tomato paste for the children so as to remain healthy till schools are reopened and they continue to enjoy the one-day, one meal package in class.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, launched the distribution at Saint Francis Primary School, Maryland, which serves as one of the 202 centres designated for the purpose across the state.
Represented at the forum by the director, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and IDPs Mrs Margaret Ukegbu, the minister said the sole aim of the relief materials is to ensure that the pupils not only have access to foods but also eat nutritious meals during this school closure period.
She said the food ration programme would go round the country with the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ogun states used as a pilot scheme to provide a template for others.
Earlier in their separate remarks, both the state’s Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo, and the Chairman of the state’s Universal Basic Education Board(SUBEB), Mr Wahab Alawiye-King, assured of openness and transparency in the distribution.
According to them, the project is fully funded by the federal government while the state government using relevant stakeholders including headmasters\teachers, school management committees etc identified the intended beneficiaries.
In his own remark, the country director of WFP, Mr Paul Howe, who was represented at the forum by Mr Akeem Ajibola, said the UN’s agency is providing technical support to ensure that the food items get to the intended individuals and in the world best health safety precautions against the spread of COVID-19.
He noted that the agency is providing similar support to more than 16 other countries globally.
One of the beneficiaries and a petty trader, Mr Dominic Obot, whose son is in Primary 3 at St Francis School, told our correspondent that the foodstuffs would serve as a bailout from hunger in his family, noting that it has been difficult to feed his children during this schools’ lockdown.