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Lagos kicks off home school feeding program, targets above 300,000 beneficiaries

By Monsuru Olowoopejo
 
With understanding that Lagos is one of the frontline states tackling coronavirus, the Federal Government has kick started modified school feeding programme in the state and disclosed that at least 337, 589 residents will benefit from the programme aimed at to flatten the pandemic curve in Nigeria.
 
The modified school feeding programme, a strategy developed by the Federal Government to continue school feeding programme which was halted following outbreak of coronavirus in the country, is targeted at assisting vulnerable households.   
 
At the flag off ceremony held within Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) premises in Ikeja, yesterday, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouk, hinted that the rations for each household has been reviewed by nutrition expert to ascertain the nutritional value and benefits to the children.
 
While noting that 17 countries aside Nigeria were currently employing the take home ration options, she reiterated that it is a globally acceptable means of supporting children to continue to have access to nutrition despite the disruption to the traditional channels of school feeding.
 
According to the Minister, the special home grown feeding intervention will impact 337,589 beneficiaries made up of Parent, Guardians and Care Givers of primary school children in participating schools and that each of the over 30, 000 household would receive 5kg bag of Rice, 5kg bag of Beans, vegetable and palm oil, salt, tomato paste and 15 pieces of eggs each. 
 
The minister, who was represented by Director, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and IDP’s, Margaret Ukegbu, commended the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and LASUBEB chairman, Wahab Alawiye-King, for their uncommon commitment and engagement for making the programme a success.
 
In her address earlier, Commissioner for Education. Folashade Adefisayo, stated that the modified school feeding programe was a continuation of the existing school feeding program which affords over 100, 000 pupils of primary schools in the state to have a meal at their disposal while in school daily. 
 
While reiterating importance of food in the development of a child, Adefisayo said: “When a child is growing its quite imperative that a child should have good quality balance diet in order to feed the brain and ensure that the brain grow appropriately because an hungry child cannot learn properly so looking at the take home ration its truly a balance diet’’.
 
Alawiye-King, while addressing the beneficiaries on the importance of the initiative, hinted that the commencement of the distribution of the take home rations was to cushion the effect of hardship caused by COVID-19 and that several underground check were carried out to ensure that the modified home feeding programme was done in a transparent and seamless manner.
 
According to him, in a few days, all the targeted households would have received their vouchers which will enable them collect their food rations. At the end of the exercise, c of pupils in primary schools (pry 1-3) would have been fed.
 
While thanking the federal Government for the laudable initiative, the SUBEB chairman commended the state governor for providing necessary support to aid the actualisation of the project in Lagos.

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