The Ministry of Education wishes to advise the national community of the readiness of the School Nutrition Programme (SNP) for the new academic year. Minister of Education, Anthony Garcia, has been working with the Chairman and the Board of Directors to ensure that the National School Dietary Services Limited (NSDSL) is in a state of readiness for the 2017/2018 school year. Parents are therefore notified that breakfast meals and lunches will be provided for all recipients for the start of the new school term on Monday 4th September, 2017.
The SNP provides government-sponsored meals to deserving children in over eight hundred (800) schools located throughout Trinidad. Approximately fifty-eight thousand (58,000) breakfast meals and eighty-eight thousand (88,000) lunches are supplied daily by seventy-five (75) contracted Caterers.
To ensure readiness, Quality Assurance Officers visited all 75 Caterers located throughout Trinidad on September 1st to assess that kitchens were ready to be fully operational for the 1st day of school. All reports and meetings with caterers indicated that the Programme will commence without any challenges on the first day of the new school term.
The Ministry also continues to place emphasis on healthy eating and continues to work with local farmers to maximise the amount of local produce used on the menus. In addition to the locally grown fruits and vegetables, the School Nutrition Programme will also introduce 100% fruit juices and water with the meals provided. This measure is in keeping with the reduction of sugar sweetened beverages being provided at the nation’s schools.
Training is an ongoing process at the NSDSL and over the July/August vacation period caterers received retraining in the area of safe food handling practices from Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) thus maintaining a high standard of quality for the students who will be recipients of these meals on Monday.
The Minister commended the hard work and commitment of the National School Dietary Services Limited and the caterers attached in meeting the timeframe of readiness for the re-opening of schools. “This”, he said “speaks volumes for the type of persons we have working with and within the Ministry. Persons who are committed to quality service and who put the needs of our children first.”