The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

The Vieux-Fort Pri­mary School is now home to a brand new green­house and kitchen to fa­cil­i­tate a school feed­ing pro­gramme it has been try­ing to es­tab­lish since 2008. The lone school in Dis­trict Six with­out a feed­ing pro­gramme, some stu­dents did not at­tend classes be­cause they had noth­ing to eat. School Prin­ci­pal Fran­cis Moonie says this will change with the gar­den and kitchen fa­cil­i­ties pro­vided by the LUCELEC Trust.

The LUCELEC Trust in­vested about $77,000 into this pro­ject, to pro­vide a green­house, ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem, rain wa­ter har­vest­ing equip­ment and gut­ter­ing. In ad­di­tion, the ceil­ing, cup­boards, sinks, doors and win­dows of the ex­ist­ing kitchen were re­placed and the lay­out im­proved to fa­cil­i­tate food prepa­ra­tion, cook­ing and feed­ing stu­dents. The school has also been pro­vided with new ap­pli­ances in­clud­ing two stoves, one re­frig­er­a­tor and a chest freezer.

Dur­ing his ad­dress at the han­dover of the new fa­cil­i­ties, LUCELEC Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Trevor Louisy spoke of the re­peated re­quests for as­sis­tance from var­i­ous schools around the is­land that prompted the LUCELEC Trust to part­ner with the Gov­ern­ment of Saint Lu­cia in find­ing sus­tain­able so­lu­tions to the prob­lem of chil­dren com­ing to school hun­gry.

“We care that no child should be in school with­out food or a de­cent meal to start the day. We care that stu­dents can be taught to grow the food they eat. We care that school can­teens serve the health­i­est food pos­si­ble. We care that stu­dents are given the best op­por­tu­nity to suc­ceed and as such their bod­ies and minds have to be well nour­ished. We trust that what we have started here can be repli­cated across all the schools on the is­land, one school, and one child at a time," said Mr. Louisy.

An emo­tional and grate­ful Prin­ci­pal Fran­cis Moonie spoke of the im­pact this pro­ject would have: “I must thank LUCELEC for bring­ing joy to the hearts of our chil­dren and re­lief to our par­ents. This school feed­ing pro­gramme pro­ject will re­move the bur­den from our par­ents and bring hope for our school. Our school will be fed and we will do bet­ter. Thank you.”

Mr. Louisy also com­mended the ef­forts of LUCELEC’s staff at the Ad­min­is­tra­tive Of­fice in Vieux Fort, just across the road from the school, for their ef­forts ear­lier in the year in start­ing a break­fast pro­gramme for the stu­dents, paid for out of their own pock­ets.

The School Feed­ing Pro­ject at the Vieux-Fort Pri­mary School was of­fi­cially handed over on Wed­nes­day Septem­ber 23rd.

The new kitchen and ap­pli­ances at Vieux Fort Pri­mary School.

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