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Jun 7, 2023

St. Martin’s Government School Introduces Feeding Program

Fifteen thousand dollars worth of kitchen appliances were handed over to Saint Martin’s Government School in Belmopan. The appliances come as a donation through the Mesoamerica Hunger Free Project led by the Government of Mexico. A brief ceremony was held on the school’s compound where we learnt more about how the kitchen appliances will help to fight hunger in the community the school serves. News Five’s Paul Lopez reports.

Paul Lopez, Reporting

The primary school students at St. Martin Government School in Belmopan were elated today to receive a number of kitchen appliances from the Ministry of Agriculture, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the Mexican Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AMEXCID) towards the establishment of a school feeding program.

Neida Trejo

Neida Trejo, Principal, St. Martin’s Government School

“As you can see here we are working with different organizations.For today we have been donated appliances and we are awaiting other hardware that will be used to refurbish this building that is behind us.”

The equipment will be installed inside a refurbished school kitchen that will be providing nutritious meals for those students that are most in need. Oscar Mira, the Area Representative for Belmopan, was present at the handing over.

Oscar Mira

Oscar Mira, Area Representative, Belmopan

“If you as a child don’t have this meal in a morning or don’t have this lunch, you will be very off. So, it is a way of making sure that you get maximum value from the classroom. These children come from different backgrounds and financial situations and especially herein Salvapan, San Martin, Maya Mopan. It is hard. I grew up in this area and I know. I grew up a family of ten and it wasn’t easy just putting a meal on the table.”

Gareth Murillo of the Ministry of Agriculture explained that the ministry has been working to promote its Farm to Table policy across the country, to decrease lifestyle illnesses like obesity and diabetes. He says that equipping schools to provide healthier meal alternatives to their students is a step towards decreasing the occurrence of these illnesses.

Gareth Murillo

Gareth Murillo, Registrar of Cooperatives, Ministry of Agriculture

“We all observe the high incidents of lifestyle illnesses such as obesity and diabetes. And many of us have taken conscience decisions to live and eat healthier. But, there is not better opportunity to influence and encourage healthier eating than in children’s and in schools. And so at the Ministry of Agriculture we have further collaborations with FAO, the Ministry of Education, and with of course our neighbors and friends from the Government of Mexico.”

Israel Rios

Israel Rios, Regional Nutrition Officer, FAO

“Throughout these initiatives we have witnessed how first hand a well designed and implemented school feeding program can be a powerful tool in combating hunger and malnutrition.”

Principal Trejo further explained that the feeding program is expected to be launched at the start of the upcoming school year.

Neida Trejo

“We will be going through a selection process. We are familiar with the community and the families that are most in need. These are the students we will be targeting first. We have yet to sit with our team to decide which meal and how many meals we will be able to provide. It all depends on how many resources come into the school.”

Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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