The Summer Nutrition Programme is not a soup kitchen nor is it designed to embarrass or discriminate against anyone, says Chief Education Officer Dr Ramona Archer-Bradshaw.
Responding to criticisms levelled at the programme from Democratic Labour Party president Dr Ronnie Yearwood and general secretary of Unity Workers’ Union Caswell Franklyn, she told the midweek nation last night it was simply a way to gauge how children felt about a healthier alternative.
“The way we have structured the programme is such that we are opening it to all school-aged children. We have not targeted the vulnerable population because we don’t want them to feel discriminated against. While they, too, can, of course, take advantage of the programme, any child who wants to come and rate our lunches – vulnerable or not – can participate. Any child who wants to participate in out Lunch and Learn activities can do so, it is open to all children,” she said.
Archer-Bradshaw said the main thrust was for the children to have a say in what they were served for lunch from the School Meals Department. She added they were bringing new, healthier menus but it made no sense to offer what the children refused to eat. (CA)
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