School Feed­ing Pro­gramme gets First Cit­i­zens Com­mit­ment

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

First Cit­i­zens In­vest­ment Ser­vices an­nounced on Mon­day its pledge to support the strength­en­ing of Saint Lu­cia’s School Feed­ing Pro­gramme and the United Na­tions “Zero Hunger Chal­lenge.” The company has do­nated EC$15,000 specif­i­cally to the Rich­fond Com­bined School which will go to­ward the con­struc­tion of school gar­dens on the com­pound and sup­ply fresh, lo­cal, healthy food for the pro­gramme.

The es­tab­lish­ment of school gar­dens is part of a pi­lot project launched by the Gov­ern­ment of Saint Lu­cia and spear­headed by the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture, Food Pro­duc­tion, Fish­eries, Co-op­er­a­tives and Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment which will tar­get spe­cific schools. First Cit­i­zens has en­dorsed the aim of the ef­fort which is to as­sist in halv­ing cur­rent lev­els of poverty and mal­nu­tri­tion. This will in­clude train­ing teach­ers and stu­dents in sus­tain­able farm­ing and also in­cludes the re­pair­ing of kitchens and the pur­chase of equip­ment for the schools where the kitchens are not up to stan­dard.

Speak­ing at the launch of the “Zero Hunger Chal­lenge” and the of­fi­cial sign­ing cer­e­mony for MOUs for the School Feed­ing Pro­gramme on Mon­day in the Cab­i­net Room of the Prime Min­is­ter’s of­fice, First Cit­i­zens Re­gional Man­ager Mrs. Ca­role Eleuthere-Jn Marie ex­plained that the company was es­pe­cially hon­oured to be part of the pro­gramme.

“We ap­plaud the Gov­ern­ment of Saint Lu­cia for its ef­forts at en­sur­ing our young peo­ple’s rights, needs and as­pi­ra­tions are in­cor­po­rated into St Lu­cia’s poverty re­duc­tion strate­gies,” said Mrs. EleuthereJn Marie. “First Cit­i­zens is pleased, humbly so, to com­mit to this in­vest­ment to cre­ate a healthy en­vi­ron­ment where our chil­dren can grow and flour­ish with­out the worry of where their next meal is com­ing from.”

She noted the First Cit­i­zens Group’s strong support for youth de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes in the re­gion and also high­lighted its com­mit­ment to in­creas­ing fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy.

Mrs. Eleuthere-Jn Marie com­mended the min­istries of Agri­cul­ture, Ed­u­ca­tion, Health and So­cial Trans­for­ma­tion for the col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort to en­sure this pi­lot project is given the at­ten­tion it de­serves. She also called on other pri­vate sec­tor com­pa­nies to join the fight to “elim­i­nate hunger in our life­times.”

Prime Min­is­ter the Hon­ourable Dr. Kenny An­thony thanked First Cit­i­zens and other pri­vate sec­tor part­ners for sup­port­ing the ini­tia­tive.

“This pro­gramme is a won­der­ful state­ment of col­lab­o­ra­tion,” said Dr An­thony. “It is very pleas­ing that the pri­vate sec­tor has em­braced this. It is great that they saw the logic and the rea­son and de­cided to come on board.”

From L-R (rear): First Cit­i­zens Mar­ket­ing Of­fi­cer Ni­cole McDon­ald, Min­is­ter

for Youth and Den­nery North MP Shawn Ed­ward, Prin­ci­pal of the Rich­fond

Com­bined Son­jane Mar­celle-Eti­enne, First Cit­i­zens Re­gional Man­ager Ca­role Eleuthere-Jn Marie and, up­front, stu­dents of

the Rich­fond Pri­mary.

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