HGSF in the Caribbean

St Kitts and Nevis map Addressing the health of the Federation’s children while ensuring food security is one objective of the Farm to Fork Programme which is currently being piloted in four primary schools in the Carribean's St. Kitts and Nevis.

Children of the Beach-Allen, Edgar T. Morris, St. Paul’s and Saddlers Primary Schools who are in the Schools Meals Feeding Programme have been participating in the Farm to Fork Programme which addresses the issue of food security on several levels.  This involves a partnership between the Ministries of Agriculture, Education and Health. 

As such, there were upgrades of food service equipment at the School Meals kitchen, along with staff training, a menu modification to the meals provided at the mentioned schools, and increased physical activity for children taking part in the programme.  Fifteen farmers were identified to provide produce for the programme.

Dr. Leroy Phillip, Associate Professor of Nutrition at McGill University, Canada, was in the Federation recently to assess the programme.  During an interview with the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service, he emphasized that it is critical to recognize that eating home-grown nutritious food can lead to improved health.

“For too long we have made this disconnection between agriculture and health or what people eat and the origin of the food that they consume,” Dr. Phillip emphasized.  “Farm to Fork really is embedded in what the World Food Programme considers Home Grown School Feeding and it means that to the extent possible, the school feeding programme should be provided with produce grown locally, purchased locally and delivered to the children so that you stimulate agriculture development while addressing children’s health.”

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Ashton Stanley emphasized that it was necessary to see the benefit of supply goods to meet the demand rather than haphazard production.

“It is essential for us to link production to market,” Mr. Stanley stressed.  “The school feeding programme is basically a vehicle for this – linking production directly to market...We have on the landscape realized that there are many challenges to agricultural production.  Basically these challenges are very difficult to be met exclusively by government and so we welcome partnerships.”

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