According to the School Feeding Caterers Association, its members are passing away because they have enormous debts they are unable to pay.
The government has been owing them money since last academic year, according to an executive of the School Feeding Caterers Association in Ashanti.
“The children are being fed GH¢1 and a tax of 3 percent so we are left with GHp97 per child which is not enough and we have complained severally but nothing has been done about it. Now schools have reopened and we have to feed the children with that same amount.
“We have so many arrears and when payments are in, we are underpaid which is really bad. Most of the women are dying because of the debts they owe since you cannot go and buy something on credit again. You go in for a loan and you have to plead,” the executive member lamented.
She continued: “Let’s assume the price of rice is GH¢600. The person is going to give it to you at GH¢900 because you are buying on credit. When the government promises to pay when school reopen, they don’t pay then you are seen as a liar. So when you mention school feeding on anything you want to buy on credit you will not get it.”
The caterers are yet to begin operations three weeks after school resumed, which has had an impact on attendance at several elementary schools in Ashanti Region.
Visits to some of Kumasi’s primary schools revealed that none of the schools had caterers on campus.
School children begged the authorities to pay the caterers so that they could provide food for the students.