From left to right, WFP Representative Helmut W. Rauch, Vice-Minister of Education José Treminio, and the Director of Integral School Nutrition Programme (PINE) Norma Ortiz, during the opening ceremony of the second installment of school meals. WFP/Julissa Aguilar
More than 7,500 metric tons of food will ensure a healthy meal for students in public preschool and elementary schools over the next three months.
Ruth Salgado (9), a fourth-grader student from the Rigoberto Lopez Perez School in Managua, is very happy because it will not be a day without receiving a nutritious meal in her classroom. This is because the Government of Nicaragua, through the Ministry of Education (MINED), began distributing food to 10,000 public schools attended by more than 1 million children across the country.
"I'm happy because we will continue eating at school. I like food a lot and especially cereal above all when my dad prepares it and brings it to school,” said Ruth during the inauguration of the distribution attended by students, teachers and parents.
Full coverage meals
The second delivery encompassed 7,500 metric tons of food (166 million pounds) of rice, beans, corn, fortified cereal, wheat flour and soybean oil being transported through highways, roads, rivers and the Caribbean Sea to cover schools in the country.
The Vice-Minister of Education, José Treminio, said that the government of Nicaragua invests more than USD7 million in this second food distribution.
"The school meal is essential for kids to improve their class performance in schools and also a stepping stone towards the Nicaragua we all dream of," said the Vice-Minister.
At the same time, Treminio thanked the World Food Programme (WFP) for the technical support it provides to the Ministry of Education (MINED) in the school meals programme and for delivering food to 150,000 students in the department of Jinotega and the Autonomous Region of the North Atlantic (RAAN).
"This is a living testimony that childhood is in the focus of social policies. WFP is pleased to assist the government in programmes contributing to the overall development, improving school performance and reducing malnutrition levels among those who are the future of this country," said WFP Representative, Helmut W. Rauch.