The Ministry of Education of Nicaragua started the third food distribution for the School Feeding Programme which assists 1 million school children. The Viceminister of Education, José Treminio (left), accompanied by the WFP Country Director, Helmut W. Rauch, announced the start of food deliveries to 9,788 public schools across the country.
“To the extent that children are well fed and nourished, they will be able to succeed in learning and will become professionals able to contribute to the development of their communities and the country. Once again we recognize the significant support that WFP provides to the country and to our government in the development of this important programme," said Vice Minister Treminio, accompanied by the WFP Country Director, Helmut W. Rauch and the Director of the Integral Programme of School Nutrition, Norma Ortiz.
Through highways, roads, rivers and the Caribbean Sea, more than 7,600 metric tons of rice, maize, beans, oil, textured soy, wheat and fortified corn-soy blend will be distributed to primary school students in all over the country. Of total total amount of food, more than 1,000 metric tons were donated by WFP to ensure that Nicaraguan children are not only well fed, but also well educated.
“The Nicaraguan government is meeting the most basic human right by feeding its children nationwide. For WFP, the United Nations front-line agency fighting hunger and malnutrition worldwide, is an honour to be part of this, especially because it is not only about feeding but also about social inclusion,” said WFP Country Director, Helmut W. Rauch.
Trucks began to transport the food from the warehouses in Managua (capital city) to schools across the country. When students return to classes at the end of the mid-year break (August), the food will already be in their schools. The meal includes rice, maize, beans, oil, textured soy, wheat and fortified corn-soy blend.
WFP Country Director, Helmut W. Rauch, and Senior Logistics Assistant, Sandra Torres, supervise the transfer of food to all municipalities. WFP Logistics Team provides technical assistance to the Ministry of Education to guarantee a timely, efficient and secure distribution.
When food reaches rural communities, families transport it to farther schools where there is no access for heavy transporation. The local transport is done through any means of transportation available, such as ox-carts, carts, donkeys, horses and even bicycles.
In schools, parents integrate the School Feeding Councils and define kitchen roles to prepare the meals for the students. When the household budget permits, they get firewood and water, and add fruits and vegetables to the menu. School Feeding Councils bring together teachers and parents for the benefit of the children.
“Food is ready!" announce the mothers and immediately a group of smiling children come out of their classrooms carrying plates and glasses to get their hot meal. This programme motivates them to come to school by ensuring a daily full meal, which helps them to concentrate on their lessons. The school meal guarantees basic primary education for children, especially in poor rural areas.