School Feeding Caterers Descend On Otiko

THE Ghana School Feeding Caterers Association (GSFCA) yesterday picketed at the Gender Ministry to demand payment of arrears owed its members.

The Association said its members are being harassed by suppliers because they owe months of food supplies.

The caterers said their patience has been stretched because government has repeatedly failed to honour its many promises to them.

The caterers provide various canteen services to schools under the Ghana School Feeding Programme initiated by the President Kufuor administration.

One caterer, who gave name as Florence Baidoo said they could not celebrate the Mother’s Day which was marked on Sunday because they were broke.

“People sent us happy Mothers’ Day messages, but there was no money for us to celebrate the day with our family,” she said.

Florence, who serves a cluster of schools in Tema with a combined pupil population of 400, said she had run into debt because she had to borrow to provide food for the children.

This, she said, would not have happened if the government had paid the monies due them. “We need the money,” she said.

But Coordinator of the Programme, Patrick Acheampong, assured the caterers their monies would be released to them in the coming days.

He explained there was a delay in the release of funds because of the change in government, which halted the signing of all forms of cheques.

“We have made a lot of effort to make payment but because of the change in government we all have to go through some challenges,” he said.

Out of the 140 days owed the caterers by the School Feeding Programme, Mr Acheampong said, only 75 days had matured for payment.

According to him, the new government has reviewed some of the figures and the necessary authorities have given their approval for payment to be made.

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