The Ghana School Feeding Secretariat is urging school feeding caterers to reconsider their decision to withdraw their services while the government works to ensure the release of funds for the payment of their arrears.
Some caterers in the Ashanti Region participating in the government’s school feeding program went on strike on Tuesday, April 4, demanding payment of arrears and an increase in the feeding grant.
Alfa Siba, Head of Public Relations at the Ghana School Feeding Secretariat, says the funds will be released soon.
“We are engaging the relevant stakeholders and the caterers to see how best we can resolve the issue. Just last week, we paid the second term of the 2022 academic year to all the districts. So, we are appealing to the caterers to rescind their decision not to cook while we continue the engagements.”
The decision to withdraw their services comes after the caterers threatened to lay down their tools following the government’s failure to pay arrears owed them.
The caterers who are also demanding an increment in the amount government pays per child daily from ninety-seven pesewas to three Ghana cedis say the current amount is unsustainable because of the current state of the economy and its accompanying high cost of food commodities.
In some public basic schools Citi News visited within Kumasi, headteachers confirmed that they are not expecting to receive food for the pupils under the government’s school feeding program as the caterers have informed them that they are not cooking.
Some of the headteachers also indicated that several efforts to reach caterers of their schools have been unsuccessful.
The caterers in their bid to get authorities to address their concerns petitioned the Ashanti Regional Minister on Monday, 3rd April 2023, but they however expressed dissatisfaction with his response to their concerns as they were ordered to leave.
Speaking to Citi News, one of the caterers in the Ashanti region, Dorothy Ofori Sarpong insisted that all caterers in the region are not cooking until the government addresses their concerns.