The Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has commenced the operationalization of the Zero Hunger Trust Fund, an initiative aimed at reducing the incidences of hunger and undernourishment here by the year 2020.
To this end, a school assistance program dubbed “Adopt a Classroom” was officially launched today at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Conference Room.
Speaking at the launching ceremony, Minister of Economic Planning and Sustainable Development, Camillio Gonsalves said 190 Kindergarten students from 7 Primary schools in several communities identified as having the highest incidences of poverty will benefit from the program.
“In this program we decided to adopt the Kindergarten classroom in seven (7) schools across St. Vincent and the Grenadines. At the Chateaubelair Government School, at the Barrouallie Government School and the Barrouallie Anglican Primary School, at the Fair Hall Primary School, at the Sandy Bay Government School, at the Fancy Government School and down in the Southern Grenadines at the Mayreau Government School,” Minister Gonsalves said.
He noted that these are some of the areas the government is rapidly trying to lift out of poverty.
Minister Gonsalves said that under this program, the Zero Hunger Trust Fund will provide the beneficiaries with a school kit, daily lunch, Mid-term Reading Assessment, Medical and nutritional check-ups, and self-development workshops for parents.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said this Adopt a School initiative will cost a total of $160,700 for a period of one year, and added that each parent would be given $260 in cash to purchase a bag ($60), uniform ($120), and school shoes ($80) for each student.
The Prime Minister said the books for each of the 190 children will cost about $170. This has been purchased already and will be distributed through the Ministry of Education. He noted that the meals will cost approximately $400 and will be paid either through the Ministry of Education or directly to the schools.