Harare (New Ziana) – The Zimbabwe government is finalising modalities for rolling out the school feeding programme this year, with pupils expected to start accessing at least one hot meal per day within the next month, a senior official said on Thursday.
The school feeding scheme was introduced in 2016, starting with infants, before it was extended to Grade 7.
Primary and Secondary Education deputy Minister Edgar Moyo told the Senate that modalities for resuming the feeding programme were being finalised.
“The issue of school feeding is government policy where children are expected to get one hot meal per day. However due to procurement challenges, the procurement process is not yet complete. However, contracts have been signed and it is our hope that within the next few weeks, not exceeding a month, we should be having our school feeding programme in place,” he said during the Question and Answer segment.
“Most of the schools have got supplies that were not finished last year but then the biggest challenge that remains in terms of procurement, is that of plates. But the contracts have been signed and the procurement process will soon be completed.”
According to the Ministry website, almost 3 million primary schools pupils were benefiting from the programme.
Benefits of school feeding include alleviating hunger, reducing micro-nutrient deficiency, improving school enrollment and attendance, increasing cognitive and academic performance, and contributing to gender equity in access to education.
For poor families with several children in school, the loss of a school meal increases food supply pressure at home.