February 6, 2013

School Feeding Programme Introduced at Hayes Primary & Junior High School

Children attending the Hayes Primary and Junior High who would otherwise go to school without breakfast are now given a hot meal in the mornings. This, as the Refinery Community Council has spearheaded a school feeding initiative to cater to some 150 students daily.

The programme, which got underway at the beginning of the new school term, targets children who attend school hungry, because their parents are unable to provide for them.

“This is a wonderful opportunity that is significantly benefitting not only the students but the school as well,” said Principal of the school Mrs. Marsha Latchman. She said the teachers have welcomed the programme because it has helped to reduce lethargy among the children in most grades.

She said many of the students were not attending school regularly and were underperforming because they were hungry. “Since the commencement of the programme students are more alert and attentive and are coming to school regularly and on time,” she said.

Mrs. Latchman said other parents are now inquiring how they can get their children on the programme as they too are having problems feeding their children in the mornings.

Chairman of the Refinery Community Council Mrs. Lorine Cousins said the council decided to start the programme to get children to attend school and increase their ability to concentrate. “The principal had outlined the need and its impact on the children’s performance. We know that hungry children cannot learn so as a council, we decided to intervene,” she said.

Mrs. Cousins explained that the programme is being funded from the Council’s chicken rearing programme. She had high praises for Jamalco for encouraging the council to be self-sufficient. “Because of Jamalco’s leadership and support, we are able to give back to others,” she added.

The council has been receiving support from the business community. “We have already received a bag of cornmeal and sausages from businesses in the community and others have committed to assist,” she said. The menu includes fried dumpling and mackerel, porridge and sausages, sandwiches and tea.

The students are very appreciative of the programme. One student explained that some mornings she is given only tea to go to school so “I am happy that when I come to school I can now get something to eat.” Another said he welcomes the programme because when his stomach is full he is able to focus and learn more.

Principal gives a student breakfast at the school.

Click image to enlarge.

Marsha Latchman gives a student breakfast at the school while community rep Lorine Cousins looks on.