Government of Saint Luca

Go to Homepage


[Contact Us]

Search this Site

STABEX Support’s School Feeding Program

horizontal rule

Governor General
Prime Minister
The Cabinet
The Senate
House of Assembly
St. Lucia Ambassadors
The Constitution
The Staff Orders

National Television Network

Saint Lucia Gazette
Press Releases

Saint Lucia 25th Independence Celebrations

About Saint Lucia
Frequently Asked Questions
Web Links
Government Directory
Browse by Agency
Site Help


By Richmond Felix

August 20, 1998 - Students involved in the national School Feeding Program, are the latest beneficiaries of funds soon to be disbursed from STABEX 1994. This follows the singing of an agreement Wednesday, between the Government of St. Lucia and the European Commission for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.

Providing a cooked meal has been found to increase school attendance, thereby contributing to the creation of an environment, which fosters a greater quality of education. The United Nations through its World Food Program has over the years been assisting St. Lucia in that venture with the implementation of the School Feeding Program.

The intention has been to alleviate the problems of poverty, unemployment and food insecurity in rural communities. According to the Minister for Education, Human Resource Development, Youth and Sports, Hon. Mario Michel the program also has some much desired spin-offs , "The School Feeding Program does not provide children with ‘Corn Flakes’ and other imported food products.but provides them with food grown and produced by our own local farmers." He believes that there really is no better way to ensure the stabilization of exports, development of St. Lucia’s agricultural sector and cultivate a taste for local produce.

The continuity of the School Feeding Program became uncertain as it came to its conclusion in December1997. Government then had to provide funds for its continuation until the end of the last school year. Support was then solicited from the European Union to sustain its development and implementation.

The European Commission Delegation for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean has indicated that it is keen to the design of the program. According to George Gwyer, head of the Delegation there are a number of aspects which are appealing in terms of its written memorandum of understanding concerning the disposition of STABEX funds. Mr. Gwyer says that the program is "poverty focus, it targets children in need and poor families ... it encourages children to be at school and to benefit from education." He went on to add that education is the key to economic growth and the diversification of the St. Lucia economy, especially in light of the some the difficulties in the banana industry.

The signing of the agreement will see the release of funds under STABEX 1994, to establish greenhouses, gardens and poultry rearing farms at various schools around the island. The target group will be over 10,000 children at day care centers, pre-schools, infant and primary schools and also includes some and special schools like the Centre for Adolescent Rehabilitation and Education.

The project will be monitored throughout its implementation and it is expected that the European Delegation will make a follow up tour, to get updated on its progress. A very significant component is the reactivation of parent-teacher associations and community groups, to assist in the development and maintenance of school gardens and the adoption of a collaborative approach with the main stakeholders (i.e. the schools, the PTA’s and the Ministry of Agriculture).

The project is expected to cost just over EC $2 million, contributions towards the program will be:

Government of St. Lucia - staff and overhead costs EC $524,676
STABEX - support to feeding activities EC $1,542,240
STABEX - support to program sustainability EC $488,100
Total cost of Activity EC $2,555,016

It is intended that at the end of the 1998/99 school year, that government will make provision in the budget to continue the feeding program and expand the agricultural activities, to move more educational institutions toward self-sustainable food provision.


horizontal rule

Home ] Up ] Search for 1998 Press Releases ] [Site Help]

© 2001 Government Information Service. All rights reserved.

Read our privacy guidelines.