School Feeding Programme: Ministry Engages Stakeholders On Nutrition Guidelines

The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development on Thursday in Abuja, engaged relevant stakeholders in a validation meeting on nutrition guidelines to improve school feeding programmes.

Dr Umar Bindir, the National Coordinator of the National Social Investment Programme of the ministry said that the aim was to have a globally acceptable document.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the validation meeting on nutrition guidelines of the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme was organised by the ministry.

Bindir further said that the school feeding programme was aimed at boosting the enrollment of pupils as well as their nutritional status.

“The objective of the guidelines is to identify national nutritional requirements and reduce micronutrients deficiencies.

“We also need to promote nutrition best practices to strengthen the programme better.

“The nutritional status is one of the most important components and objectives of the programme and this is what brought about nutritional guidelines that we are here to validate.

“The guidelines are so important to us knowing that part of the role of the state government is to develop the menu being developed by the nutritional officer in that state.

“We need to ensure that what is on that menu is of nutritional value and beneficial to the pupils nutritionally and academically,” he said.

In her remarks, the minister, Sadiya Umar-Farouq said that the school feeding programme began in 2016 and was implemented in 35 states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory.

Umar-Farouq was represented by her Technical Assistant on National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, Zainab Abubakar.

She said that the programme would provide one free nutritious meal to pupils from Primary 1 to Primary 3 in public schools nationwide.

According to Umar-Farouq, the school feeding is a collaborative programme between the Federal Government and state governments.

Also speaking, Prof. Wasiu Afolabi, National President, Nutrition Society of Nigeria said that the school feeding programme could be breakfast or lunch.

“School feeding improves pupils’ school performance, alleviates hunger, increases school enrollment, and improves nutrition and health,” Afolabi said.

NAN

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