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St. John’s Primary School students to benefit from school meal programme initiative

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February 2019

Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw (right), receives a sample of the meal prepared utilizing Jamaica’s indigenous produce from Executive Mission:FoodPossible Chef, Patrice Harris-Henry, at the official launch of Mission:FoodPossible, at the St. John’s Primary School in St. Catherine, on Friday February 1, 2019. The menu consisted of pumpkin-banana bread, green banana salad, barbeque chicken and yamackee - consisting of a mixture of yam, plantain, ackee and pumpkin. Looking on at right is Founder of the programme, Peter Ivey, along with St. John’s Primary students.

Above Body

 04 Feb 2019    communications   

Students at St. John’s Primary School in St. Catherine will now benefit from a school meal programme, which will utilize Jamaica’s indigenous produce such as pumpkin, cassava, yams and green banana, along with other local produce, under an initiative dubbed ‘Mission:FoodPossible’.

Mission: FoodPossible seeks to combat global hunger and food insecurity by using locally grown products to make creative, nutritious and low-budget meals and was conceptualized and founded by New York-based Jamaican chef and past student of St. John’s Primary School, Peter Ivey.

Speaking at the official launch of ‘Mission: FoodPossible’ at the St. John’s Primary School, in St. Catherine, on February 1, Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Audley Shaw, said the undertaking will not only result in greater support for Jamaica’s farmers and the agricultural sector, but also the health and nutrition of our children.

The agriculture minister stated that the launching of the Mission: FoodPossible initiative represents the perfect opportunity to teach children to “eat what we grow”. He said that he intends to work with Chef Ivey to have the programme rolled out in other schools across the island.

Mr. Shaw said Jamaica must move away from the importation of genetically modified food to the consumption and utilisation of more locally grown foods, which will lead to a better life for all.

“As Government, our mission is to promote proper nutrition and improve the learning outcomes of our children, as well as to strengthen early childhood development in keeping with the Food and Nutrition Security Policy, the draft School Feeding Policy and the Jamaica Social Protection Strategy,” the Minister said.

Shaw further informed that the Government has taken action to increase the variety of local fresh fruits and vegetables under the National School Feeding Programme. Support for the programme is also being provided through initiatives from the Ministry of Health to encourage better eating habits, as well as encouraging students to exercise more. In that regard, the Minister noted that the programme’s budgetary allocation was increased to $4.7 billion for the 2018/19 fiscal year, an increase of 47 per cent.

For his part, Mr. Ivey explained that his initiative is undergirded by a personal mission to feed people who are in need. “Mission:FoodPossible is near and dear to my heart, and it is my contribution to improving the lives of others in Jamaica and across the globe,” he added.
Meanwhile, principal of the school, Louise Clarke, lauded the initiative. She described it as “remarkable,” noting that it has the full support of the school community and Board, and will go a far way in assisting the students who are in need.

The initiative was first executed in St. Catherine in October 2017 with the feeding of approximately 700 people. In October 2018, training was provided for staff, parents and teachers at St. John’s Primary School.


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