SLIGHTLY over three million homes stand to benefit from the Federal Government’s daily food program and deliveries under the presidential home feeding programme, targeted at primary 1 to 3 children in public schools.
Authorities in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, explained that the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme would debut in Abuja, Thursday.
Lagos and Ogun states would follow suit before the other states of the federation would benefit.
The Minister, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, said, “this should have been an ongoing exercise meant for pupils in primary schools, but they could not be distributed because of the lockdown, occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.”
Earlier in the week, she inspected 29,600 take-home ration kits for pupils, which she said was preparatory to the distribution of the items from May 14.
Each kit contains 5kg bag of rice, 5kg bag of Beans, 500 ml Vegetable oil, 750ml Palm oil, 500mg salt, 15 pieces of eggs, and 140gm of tomato paste, which the minister said would be delivered to the door steps of beneficiaries following available data on the pupils on their locations.
The ministry stated that state governments would be involved in the delivery of the food items after they were required to carry out mapping exercises in order to trace the households of the children using all available data sources including the School Based Management Boards, community focal persons, cooks on the programme, and most importantly existing school registers in the LGAs where the schools are domiciled.
President Buhari had on March 29, directed the Minister to collaborate with state governments to develop strategies on the school feeding programme even when the schools were shut due to the pandemic.
In picking out the beneficiaries, the ministry pointed out that the school registers form the primary source of data of beneficiaries used by the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme.
Over 6,000 schools would serve as distribution centers for clusters of communities except in some states with unique security and safety issues where other structures would be used.
According to the ministry, it is receiving technical support from the World Food Programme (WFP), and “while the intervention is primarily for school children currently enrolled on the food program, the Ministry has also been engaging partners and other agencies to explore options for those children who are not current beneficiaries.
“Going forward, there is a need to critically examine and review data management strategies so that when faced with emergencies such as this, there would be easy access to rich, readily available and accurate data of all persons of concern for swift implementation of critical interventions. The Ministry is working diligently to actualize this in the shortest time possible.
The ministry solicits the support of state governments in further sensitizing the communities on the need to ensure that this food program intervention reaches the intended beneficiaries and facilitate the timely delivery of quality food supplies provided by the state aggregators.