The Deputy Country Director of the World Food Program (WFP), Julie McDonald, says the U.N. agency has provided daily nutritious meals for a total of 127,000 school children in target schools in nine counties.
Addressing a press conference Monday in observance of World Food Day at the Ministry of Agriculture in the Monrovia suburb of Gardnersville, she said the feeding program is intended to encourage enrolment of female students and also ensure continuity of students in school.
She said WFP is also providing take-home rations such as rice and vegetable oil for over 4,000 adolescent female students in upper grades in places where gender disparities are high.
According to McDonald, the WFP and Ministry of Education (MoE) are currently transitioning the daily school meals program to the home-grown school feeding program that will be more sustainable and adaptable to the Liberian scenario.
McDonald said the home-grown school meals initiative is aimed at linking local schools to smallholder farmers who will produce food that will be purchased and then used to provide meals for schools. She said this will maximize benefits for students and farmers as well as communities.