Hutchinson plans breakfast programme for NW St Bess schools
J.C. Hutchinson, the long-serving member of parliament (MP) for St Elizabeth North Western, has announced plans to expand the constituency's breakfast programme.
Speaking during the State of the Constituency Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, Hutchinson, who is in his 24th year as MP, said the breakfast programme will resume when students return to face-to-face classes.
"One of the main plans is the implementation of a sustainable breakfast programme for every schoolday for every child attending all 23 schools in the constituency," said Hutchinson, who rolled out a pilot breakfast programme a few years ago. He said that the principals and other stakeholders of the schools in the original breakfast programme have indicated that not only did attendance increase, but there was marked improvement in the grades of students participating in the programme. He said that the breakfast programme will help to boost the immune systems of children.
The veteran politician said that the target is for 80 per cent of the food items supplied to the schools to be produced locally, "in order to ensure that our children will be given fruit juice instead of artificial juices, and be provided with highly nutritious and tasty meals".
"All the fruits and some vegetables that would be subject to waste annually will be collected and processed into puree or juice," Hutchinson told fellow parliamentarians.
The MP said that the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has identified five schools in the constituency that it will assist with funding for the breakfast programme. He said that those schools will be part of a pilot project, and based on the results, the FAO hopes to expand the project to other schools throughout the island.