Brazil’s school feeding programme a model to follow – First Lady Sandra Granger
DPI, GUYANA, Monday, October 23, 2017
The Brazilian school feeding programme is being touted as a model to be followed and partly duplicated in Guyana. This was disclosed by First Lady Sandra Granger during a press conference today at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) headquarters.
This is following a recent mission to Vitoria, Brazil in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO/UN) to study and exchange views on experiences in sustainable school feeding.
First Lady Sandra Granger pointed out that since 1955, school feeding has been mandatory in both primary and secondary schools and the programme receives cooperation from the education, agricultural and health sectors in the country.
One of the main reasons why Brazil’s school feeding system was chosen to be evaluated, is the fact that children and their parents play an integral role in the selection of the weekly menu the schools provide.
The First Lady also disclosed that Brazil’s school feeding programme also caters for special-needs students. “If a child has a particular dietary requirement, the parents or the doctors would notify the school and they would try to meet that child’s need so it becomes very simple.”
She also cited the example of one school that ventured on a zero-waste campaign and conducted a survey to determine which foods are least wasted.
“When they found that there was a particular menu that the children did not like and they were throwing away the food, they would tell the authorities, do not serve tuna again, change it to something else… so the children also became actively involved not only in their nutrition but in how waste was being managed” the First Lady explained.
In the next few weeks, the team will be working together to examine how lessons learnt could be used to strengthen Guyana’s school feeding programme. However, the First Lady explained for the system to be a success the ‘empowerment of communities in driving various aspects of the programme from farmers to school” is vital. This will also require the buy-in from stakeholders at the community level which includes teachers, parents, students, cooks and local farmers.
The mission was led by First Lady Sandra Granger, Ministers of Social Protection, Social Cohesion, Education, Public Health, Public Affairs in the Ministry of the Presidency along with other Ministries and, local and foreign organisations representatives.
By: Isaiah Braithwaite