School Nutrition Programme to donate meals to vulnerable students

FLASHBACK... SNP cooks filling boxed lunches. (Image: ANISTO ALVES)

On Monday 11 May 2020, the National Schools Dietary Services Limited (NSDSL) will be donating 7,300 meals for distribution to vulnerable students, who are on the School Nutrition Programme (SNP).

In an official statement issued today by the Ministry of Education, NSDSL’s Chief Executive Officer, Stacy Barran, notes that the company is partnering with some Members of Parliament and Local Government Councillors, to ensure the meals are distributed in their respective communities.

In addition, she notes the meals will be prepared under the strict guidelines of the SNP, and supervised by Quality Assurance Officers and Zonal Managers from NSDSL.

The full text of the release from NSDSL, follows…

SNP CATERERS’ MEAL DONATION DRIVE

On Monday 11th May 2020, Caterers of the School Nutrition Programme (SNP), Trinidad will be donating 7,300 meals for distribution to underprivileged students who are on the Programme.

The SNP is managed by the state-owned National Schools Dietary Services Limited (NSDSL), an agency of the Ministry of Education. Quality Assurance Officers and Zonal Managers, field staff of the NSDSL, will be visiting kitchens on Monday to ensure that meals are produced under strict food safety guidelines, as per the usual guidelines of the SNP.  The NSDSL has partnered with some Members of Parliaments and Councillors to have the meals distributed throughout their communities.  Guidelines to ensure the safe distribution of meals (including measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19) were provided to both the caterers’ delivery personnel and the various MP’s and Councillor’s offices.

FLASHBACK… Pelau, stew chicken and salad make up this lunch box. (Image: ANISTO ALVES)

During this time of crisis, the high price of food poses a greater problem for many low-income consumers, since a lack of purchasing power deprives a person from access to food, even though food is available. Low-income households generally spend proportionately more of their income on food when compared to their total expenditure. Research has therefore shown that low-income households purchase less food or fewer nutritious foods than higher income households. This can lead to nutritional problems for family members, especially children who need to be well-nourished for growth and development. Data from the region has found that children under five from families at the lowest income levels are much more likely to be underweight compared with children from high-income families.

The Programme delivers over 20 million meals yearly to our nation’s children. When the Programme provides safe and nutritious meals to the school population, it ensures that the following nutrient goals are met:

*   The provision of approximately one-quarter (1/4) and one-third (1/3) of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDAs) of nutrients for the child through breakfast and lunch respectively, as weekly averages.

The Ministry of Education wishes to express its deepest appreciation to the Caterers of the SNP who have generously donated these meals and will, beyond this initiative, continue to be of service to the nation’s children.

FLASHBACK… A cook makes pelau at the National School Dietary Services Limited’s school catering establishing in Central. (Image: ANISTO ALVES)