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School Feeding Trains Caterers Nana Kwame Asamoa-Boateng August 29, 2018
A section of the caterers during illustration by trainers.
The Nutritional Unit of the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) has organized a Nutritional Innovative Training Programme for caterers within the Greater Accra Region.
The three-day training programme serves as a pilot project to help generate an ecological menu for the region and other beneficiary regions.
Speaking at the training programme, acting National Coordinator of the GSFP, Paulina Koranteng, stressed that children need good nutritious food because nutritious meal provides the body with the vital nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, roughages and minerals and also help them develop sensory memories.
She said “since caterers play the most important role in the implementation and sustainability of the GSFP, equipping them with the innovative training will directly translate into improving the nutritional content of food for school children under the GSFP”.
She indicated that although GSFP currently provides one hot meal per ‘school day’ for pupils in selected public primary schools and kindergarten in deprived areas of the country using locally grown foodstuffs, the nutritional component of the meal is sometimes compromised due to challenges.
Mrs. Koranteng highlighting some of the challenges indicated that inadequate feeding grant, delay in the release of funds and inadequate skills and knowledge on the part of caterers resulted in the inability of some caterers to meet the nutritional values of the meals they prepared.
She said in order to achieve the nutritional objectives of the programme, there is the need to develop and use standard meal menus based on foodstuffs in the ecological zones and train caterers in their use through practical demonstration on nutritional innovations to equip caterers with the practical aspect instead of always concentrating on only the theory.
“We have had many training sessions in the past and we have observed that there is a need for a live practical hands-on training session for the caterers to better understand and implement healthy cooking skills and correct food practices” she noted.
She indicated that the training seeks to achieve other objectives including creating awareness of providing nutritious meals through innovative ways of cooking as well as equip GSFP caterers with the requisite skills and knowledge on hygiene and sanitation.
Deputy National Coordinator of the GSFP, Gertrude Quashigah, indicated that the training was the first of its kind since the inception of the school feeding programme and would serve as a platform for sharing knowledge and ideas.
“We hope to take this across the whole country because we have to introduce the correct ways of cooking by teaching our caterers the right ethics, hygiene, safety measures, among others, that will enhance the nature of the food served to the schoolchildren” she said.
“We are tired of the talking. We want to get out of the box and deal with the practicality which is the real concept of school feeding. Let us go to the field and be with our women and correct everything they are doing regarding food. I believe this is the main essence of this training” she added.
By Abigail Owiredu-Boateng
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