The Kaduna State Coordinator of the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, Malam Musa Daudu, said that meat and bread would be added to the menu of the programme in the state.
Daudu said in Kaduna on Tuesday that the measure was to boost the nutritional content of the food being served to the children under the programme.
In the menu, primary one to primary three pupils get beans pudding (Moin Moin) on Monday, rice and beans on Tuesday, beans on Wednesday, rice and egg on Thursday, and biscuit and juice on Friday.
Dauda said that based on the current menu, the only sources of rich protein are beans and eggs, adding that meat would be added to make the food nutritionally rich.
“We will also introduce bread to enrich the menu with food varieties for the good of the children.
“We have already written to the National Social Investment Office (NSIO), Abuja, and are awaiting approval,” he said.
The coordinator said that at the moment, 1,069,140 primary one to primary three pupils in 3,922 public primary schools across the state are getting free meal at N70 per day under the programme.
Dauda, who is the Director, Higher Education in the state Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, added that 12,376 cooks had been engaged under the programme as food vendors.
He, however, said that following the recent rise in school enrolment, the number of beneficiaries are expected to increase in the state, adding that the updated data had been submitted to the NSIO for consideration.
He described the programme as ‘life changing’, not only for the children but equally for the vendors and the community at large.
According to the coordinator, the programme is boosting school enrolment and attendance as well as providing the needed nutrition requirement for children’s healthy growth.
“The programme is also empowering women with a source of livelihood that is changing their lives for good,’’ Dauda noted.
Confirming the claim, Mrs. Keziah Akut, a vendor at Bondon Model Primary School, Kaura Local Government Area, thanked the Federal Government for empowering women through the programme.
Akut said that among them were widows whose children could not go to school due to lack of money.
“But this job has provided the opportunity for such people to be able to send their children to school,’’ Akut said.
Also, Mrs. Doris Simon, a vendor at UBE Primary School, Bakon Kofa, said that she never had a bank account until she was enlisted into the school feeding programme.
Simon added that the programme equally helped her to be self-reliant and continue her education.
“I wanted to further my education after I obtained a Grade II Teacher Certificate in 2003, I could not do so due to financial constraint. But now this programme has greatly empowered me.
“It has enabled me to secure admission to study for a National Certificate in Education at the National Teachers’ Institute. I will graduate this year,” she said.