Parents urged to pay school meal tickets

POSTED: 10/4/12 12:46 PM

MARIGOT, St. Martin – The Collectivité de St. Martin is appealing to the parents to contribute to the meals program that affords all children to have a meal at school on a daily basis. The Collectivité is presently providing some 4,500 meals to the students who attend secondary school and is now embarking on a program to including all schools on the island with meals.
This program is subsidized from the Collectivité’s budget and the parents are expected to contribute some €3.50 per meal which includes an entrée, a main course and dessert. The department that provides these meals has a deficit of between €60,000 t0 €70,000 for last year alone.
“This cannot continue,” said Executive Council member Rosette Gumbs –Lake, who is responsible for the Central Kitchen which provides the students with the daily meals. She explained that the budget for these meals is about €400,000 and continues to appeal to the parents to ensure that the canteen tickets for the meals are paid so that they are able to continue with the program and get out of deficit.
However, there are still a large number of students who do not pay for the meals, but they are allowed to have their meals because the schools do not want to leave them without food. “While this comes up to a lot of money and the Caisse Territoriale des Oeuvres also is facing serious financial difficulties it cannot be allowed to continue,” said Rosette Gumbs-Lake.
The program is coordinated by a head chef and employs 350 people. Presently, there are kitchens at all the schools with a staff to provide the meals.
After the meals are consumed employees ensure that the children are kept occupied before school concludes at about 1.30 p.m.

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