Upper East: School feeding caterers trained on preparation of nutritious meals
As part of efforts to improve the quality of meals served pupils under the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP), a training workshop has been held for caterers and cooks under the programme in the Upper East Region. The exercise was aimed at training caterers and cooks on innovative methods of cooking to enhance the quality of food prepared. Caterers and cooks under the Ghana school feeding programme from the fifteen districts of the Upper East Region were trained on contemporary cooking techniques using local goods and ingredients. Desk officers and SHEP coordinators from the Ghana Education Service were also trained to develop balance diet models fit for the various districts. The caterers and their cooks after the training prepared various meals for exhibition and assessment by the GSFP officials. The exercise will be replicated by the caterers at their various schools. Speaking to Citi News, Program Officer-Agric at the GSFP, Seth Offei said, the training was to improve quality concerns report about the programme. “In recent times, there has been a survey by World Food Program, partners for child development and Ghana School Feeding Program and we realized that, the nutritional requirement of most of the meals provided for our children is inadequate. Again, most of our District officers lack information about the Ghana School Feeding Program.” “So, we are training our district desk officers on school meal planning, For the caterers, most of them complain that the funds that we give them are inadequate and we are also very strict that they provide balance meals, therefore, there is a need for us to provide alternatives by training them on how to use local food staff and ingredients they can find in their localities to improve the quality of meals prepared for the pupils”. He further cautioned that, under performing caterers shall be sanctioned if found culpable. “Let me caution caterers that, when we are employing them, we take them through orientation and we tell them the consequences of not providing quality meals for the children.” Some caterers shared the benefits of the training programme with Citi News. Florence Kuribila said, “This workshop has been beneficiary because it has increased our skills of cooking. For example, they have shown us how to always add soya beans to our meals which is very healthy to the children.” “When we go back to our various schools, we are going to change upon the method we were using and go according to what they have thought us, so that, the children will get nutritious food to grow well and be able to learn well and do well in their studies”. “Initially when we were cooking for the children we don’t know the quantity, sometimes we know but the indigents that we use is the same thing but today it is a different thing all together.” “I hope that this training will help us, our students and our cooks as well. When we go back to our districts, we will tell our caterers and the cooks so that they will prepare nice dish for the children,” Paulina Duunbil stated. The Upper East Regional Coordinator of the Ghana School Feeding Programme, Georgina Ayamga said, although her caterers were doing well, the training will further enhance their output. “In Upper East, I believe my caterer are preforming very well, they are hard working their quality and quantity so far as I have been going monitoring is so marvelous and I know that if there are few ones who are not performing very well I know this training will go a long way to help them”.