By Ibrahim Kabba Turay
The United Nations Sierra Leone, in their 2022 Annual results report, has stated that they were able to support 216,000 school children from 1,020 schools in five districts with nutritious and diverse fortified meals through the implementation of a new seasonal national feeding menu.
The report also states that for over 5,200 schools in five districts, Kambia and Pujeh accessed diversified and nutritious foods daily through the home-grown school feeding programme.
“The programme organized school assessment verification exercise, procured 130 metric tons of local rice equivalent to USD$103,000 from 146 farmer organizations and enabled cash transfer amounting to USD$21,000 for schools to buy fresh nutritious vegetables from local smallholders who are mostly women,” the report states.
The report also states that 2,040 head teachers and school management committee members, composed of community leaders and parents,were engaged and trained on food safety, hygiene and sanitation, kitchen management, and use of the national school feeding menu.
The national food system improved access to diversified nutritious, and safe foods continued to improve through intensified political commitment and leadership through the office of the Vice President and the scaling up nutrition movement.
However, the report also captured the investment in the food system was strengthened and transformed into a sustainable one, and capacity of key food system actors were strengthened through the construction of local complementary food processing facilities based on standardized design and layout.
The report also stated that Sierra Leone standards Bureau and real value food manufacturing company to ensure food safety, and operationalization of the temperature and humidity laboratory of the Sierra Leone standards Bureau.
By the end of 2022, there was better-enabling environment to improve dietary intake through policy development evidence generation and community mobilization supporting the adoption of optimal food and nutrition practices.