The National Home-grown School Feeding Programme, NHGSFP, now feeds 8,260,984 pupils in 45,394 public primary schools across 24 states, the Presidency has said.
A statement issued by Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Vice President in Abuja on Wednesday said the target of 5.5 million pupils was reached last year.
It said the states currently benefitting from the school feeding programme are Anambra, Enugu, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ebonyi, Zamfara, Delta, Abia, Benue, Plateau, Bauchi, Taraba, Kaduna, Akwa-Ibom, Cross River, Imo, Jigawa, Niger, Kano, Katsina, Gombe, Ondo and Borno.
According to the statement, over 80,000 direct jobs have been created from the School Feeding Programme; with 87,261 cooks currently engaged in the 24 participating states.
While noting that all 36 states of the Federation and the FCT will eventually benefit from the programme, the statement explained that not only has the School Feeding Programme created jobs for thousands of Nigerians in these communities where the programme is being implemented, it has also helped to boost local economies by linking the local farmers to the school feeding market.
It added that the programme has continued to record significant milestones in the classrooms as the scheme has led to an increase in enrolment.
The statement added: “Another important aspect of the School Feeding Programme is that by providing a meal a day for millions of pupils, it addresses the issues of malnutrition and stunting among children, increasing the chances of the pupils making a significant headway in their learning and in life.
“The NHGSFP plans to implement feeding in 28 States in the coming months, and all over the country soon after.”