September 2023 is tentative date for National School Meals services to be introduced on Barbuda, Knowles says

Barbudan students may finally become a part of the National School Meals Programme later this year, according to Ezra Knowles, the programme’s manager.

Since the programme’s inception, the plan was to serve hot nutritious lunches in all government primary schools and, eventually, incorporate the secondary level and even private institutions.

However, while a number of primary schools on Antigua are served daily lunches and several are now being served breakfast, the initiative is yet to make its way to the sister-island.

Knowles gave a tentative date of September 2023 by which the programme should be introduced to Barbudans students.

Since the initiative is solely government-funded, she says, attempts are being made to get private donors on board in order to make the venture in Barbuda a reality.

According to Knowles, discussions are currently taking place with two entities, whose names she did not wish to reveal at this stage.

The School Meals Programme is an initiative of the United Progressive Party Administration and was launched under the tagline “Nutrition for Learning.”

Students, teachers and parents, up to last school year, had complained bitterly that the programme was not living up to its slogan, since the quality of the meals had, in some cases, deteriorated to “fast food,” with some likening it to “pig washing.”