CATERERS AND HEAD COOKS TRAINED ON NUTRITION INITIATIVES TO IMPROVE QUALITY OF SCHOOL MEALS IN THE VOLTA AND OTI REGIONS
November 25, 2019 3:50 pm
The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection through the Ghana School Feeding Programme has successfully trained caterers and their head cooks on Nutrition Initiatives to improve quality of school meals in the Volta and Oti Regions.
The Innovative training is the result of a joint Government of Ghana (GoG), WFP and Partnership for Child Development (PCD) school meals nutrition study conducted in 2017.
At the national dissemination and advocacy workshop on the findings stakeholders recommended that, the new innovation will improve tremendously the protein quality of foods served to school children and help the caterers save money in various dishes.
The main goal of this training workshop was to deepen the involvement and participation of the Regional Coordinating Council, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), and the Ghana School Feeding Programme National Secretariat in managing an efficient and effective homegrown school feeding programme.
It is expected that the engagement session will enhance the knowledge of local actors for a smooth implementation of the programme.
The Deputy Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon. Freda Prempeh pleaded with all MMDCEs to collaborate with Ghana Education Service Directorates within their various MMDAs to put up kitchens in their various schools to enable the caterers have access to good cooking environments.
She said if they are able to do that, it automatically becomes their property whenever a caterer is transferred to a different school or loses a contract with GSFP.
The Deputy Minister stressed on the need for caterers and head cooks to patronize home grown foods in the preparation of their meals. She cautioned the caterers to desist from trying to impress the teachers by preparing delicious meals for them whilst the foods prepared for the pupils are not the best.
She used the opportunity to talk about the Ministry’s new innovation of adding the fortified ‘Gari fotor’ which will soon be introduced to their GSFP meals at the various schools.
The Deputy Minister, Hon. Freda Prempeh on behalf of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection expressed her profound gratitude to their sponsors, World Food Programme, Yedent Agro Processing Company and all others for their continuous support to ensure the GSFP is a success. She pledged the Ministry’s unflinching support to GSFP whenever they are facing any difficulty in line of their duty.
Hon. Freda Prempeh said she was so impressed with the appearance of the caterers at the Training Programme and she encouraged them to always appear well whenever they are cooking at their various schools.
She spoke strongly against those who cook foods in filthy environments which can lead to the contamination of foods
She used the opportunity to appeal to MMDCEs, World Food Programme, Yedent Agro Processing Company and other development partners to support the Ministry with bowls for the school pupils.
Mrs. Quashigah the Acting National Coordinator for the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) in her remarks stated that the caterers should serve the children with the desired nutrition in a hygienic environment.
She said that, there will be an unannounced inspection which has already been started by the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Hon. Cynthia Mamle Morrison.
According to her the inspection will include health certificate validity, cooking ethics, environmental hygiene and self-hygiene
She added that the new phase introduced by the GSFP include “Soya” chewable meat to replace chicken and fish which is so nutritious and will enhance the quality of meals prepared in the schools under the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP).
She again stressed the need for all school feeding caterers and head cooks to follow the cooking ethics because cooking is an art and the dominant crops within a particular season in a district should be used for cooking in order to achieve government’s objective for the Planting for Food and Jobs flagship programme which is intended to eradicate hunger and poverty.
She again cautioned caterers under the GSFP to attach some seriousness to their work since the Ministry will award those doing well and sanction defaulters by taking them off the programme in order to set good standards for the GSFP.
Madam Doris Gaba, the Director of Operations at the Ghana School Feeding Programme in her speech also mentioned that, every caterer will be given a head cook certificate for participating in the training programme which will be certified by the Ghana School Feeding Programme. She added that every caterer should make good use of the handy measures by displaying it at their various schools and that those who refuse to do so will be penalized.
She further stated that a new campaign called “Operation MMDCE Build up a Kitchen” will soon be launched by the Ministry next year.
Madam Emma Anaman and Madam Gyamilla Wahabi representatives of the World Food Programme, main sponsors of the Training Programme said the WFP has transitioned from direct food assistance and service delivery to capacity strengthening and policy support, with a continued commitment to supporting the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and the Ghana School Feeding Programme to make the Ghana home-grown school feeding a model within the African continent.
According to them, WFP has promised to continue to work with the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to strengthen the capacity of the Ghana School Feeding Programme to fully implement a home-grown school feeding programme, which provides nutritious meals linked to agriculture to boost the local economy; as well as support capacity strengthening in other related Social Protection Programmes.
Madam Soteria Aba Yedua Ntim-Adu the manageress for Yedent Agro Processing Company in her address said Yedent together with the WFP and PCD have worked together with the GSFP for the past years on Nutrition Training.
She said Yednam is a texturized soya protein which serves as a meat substitute and all soya beans used in the production of Yednam is grown and harvested in the country, mostly from the Northern part of Ghana.
She said they are committed to work together with the GSFP to ensure every caterer gets and uses this new innovation in Agro Processing.