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28,000 needy students to get free meals in second semester

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The Ministry of Health will be providing cheese sandwiches, a vegetable, and a fruit to students four days a week, in addition to biscuits stuffed with dates, once a week at poverty-stricken schools. (Photo: Envato Elements)
AMMAN — The Ministry of Education will start providing free meals to students in poverty-stricken areas starting with the first week of the second semester; some 28,000 students are expected to benefit from the move.اضافة اعلان

Ahmad Al-Masafa, official spokesman of the Ministry of Education, told Jordan News that a cheese sandwich, a vegetable, and a fruit will be distributed to students for four days a week, in addition to biscuits stuffed with dates, once a week. 

“They will be distributed to students 15 minutes before the end of the third lesson, in the classroom, under the direct supervision of their teachers.” 

He added that this meal provides 30 percent of the students’ nutritional needs, with cheese as a good source of calcium, necessary for healthy teeth and bones, and fruit and vegetables containing water, fiber, and carbohydrates, which give students energy that contributes to raising the level of their educational attainment. 

He stressed that the scientific studies that accompanied the implementation of the school feeding project demonstrated an improvement in the health, nutritional and educational status of the students covered by the project, “which reduces health nutritional problems, such as vitamin A and iron deficiency, decreases absenteeism, increases students’ effectiveness and participation in the classroom, and modifies students’ behavior and attitudes related to nutrition and health, while also reducing the student’s daily expenses”.

Masafa also said that the school feeding project started in May 1999 with the aim of improving the nutritional and health status of public school students in areas of poverty. 

“The project covers more than 450,000 students in grades 1–6 and government kindergarten students, distributed among 2,278 schools in 34 directorates in the Kingdom and three UNRWA camps,” he said.

According to Masafa, in this phase of the project, the ministry has set the first week of the second semester as a date for distributing the free meal to school students in the education directorates of Kasabet Madaba District and the Southern Shouneh District, in cooperation with the World Food Program and the Royal Society for Health Awareness.

Hala Baqain, a mother, told Jordan News that she strongly supports this project, “especially that some students cannot afford to eat healthy food everyday, a matter that negatively affects their concentration and consequently their academic level”.

Baqain added that students also need to raise their immunity by eating healthy food. 

“Students are supposed to go to schools at a time COVID-19 cases are significantly increasing and therefore they need to pay attention to their health. This project is really needed and I hope that it can cover as many students as possible.”

Rania Sawalha, yet another mother, told Jordan News that students will get the chance to eat healthy “and it is a great chance for teachers to ensure that all students are getting the proper nutrition they need”.

“Unfortunately, due to the hard economic situation, which has got harder during the COVID-19 pandemic, some students cannot afford to eat healthy and get the nutrition they need,” she said. 

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