About 96 caterers and head cooks of the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP) from the Volta and Oti regions have undergone practical demonstration training in cooking at Dambai.
The initiative is to guide them prepare sumptuous food for the children and correct the bad practices in their cooking methods.
Dr Getrude Quashigah, National Coordinator of GSFP, addressing the participants said the day was important as it provides a platform for stocktaking as well as reminder of good practices in cooking.
According to her, they have done similar training in the three Northern regions and Ashanti Region.
Dr Quashigah explained that there was the need to improve the nutritional value in the food prepared for the school children to avoid deficiencies in their health.
She warned the caterers and head cooks from cooking at unhygienic places, due to the consequences on the health of the children.
The GSFP National Coordinator argued that the environment in which we prepare food for the children in our schools should be decent and kept neat.
She said their core function is to make sure they prepare good food for the children that would help them eat well and have satisfaction in order to concentrate on their studies.
Dr Quashigah, therefore encouraged the caterers and head cooks to make patriotism their priority and stand up always to defend the good name of the programme and also protect the children.
She thanked the World Food Programme (WFP) and other agencies for their support.
Nana Kwasi Owusu Yeboah, Oti Regional Minister, on behalf of the region expressed gratitude to the management of GSFP for organising such a programme saying it had made the participants to learn new techniques in their jobs.
He said there should be linkages between farmers in the area and the caterers so that they can buy from them.
The Minister appealed to the management of GSFP to put more schools in the Oti Region onto the programme to motivate children in deprived areas to go to school.
He assured of his total support to help improve on the success of the programme in the region.
Mrs Debora Richlove Owusu, District Extension Agent for Women in Agric Development, one of the instructors said the use of artificial spices which are made out of chemicals can lead to the accumulation of chemicals in the bodies of children.
She therefore advised the participants to use natural spices like “dawadawa” and “prekese” in preparing their food to promote good health in the children.
Ms Emma Anaman, World Food Programme Representative, one of the sponsors of the programme said they will continue to collaborate and support the initiative provided the funds are used for the purpose for which it has been given.
FROM KAFUI GATI, DAMBAI