SOME OF THE local foods that were on display at the Kingstown Preparatory School as part of the World Food Day celebration
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October 18, 2022
Kingstown Prep among schools celebrating World Food Day (+Video)

by SHARLENE RAMPERSAD

AS COUNTRIES around the world struggle with food security, students at several schools in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), celebrated World Food Day with a myriad of events at their schools.

At the Kingstown Preparatory School on Friday, October 14 students were asked to bring one dish created using a local staple, from green bananas to breadfruit and coconut.

With many creative dishes on display such as breadfruit pies with whipped cream, the students were then educated about World Food Day and its significance.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) chose as the theme for this year’s celebration “Leave NO ONE behind.”

The FAO said the world finds itself in 2022 with an ongoing pandemic, a climate crisis, conflicts between major food producing countries and rising food prices. It estimates that some 40 percent of the world’s population, or 3.1 billion people cannot afford a healthy diet and just last year, some 193 million people experienced high, acute food insecurity- meaning they needed urgent humanitarian assistance to survive. Over a half a million people faced starvation and death.

The organisation wants a sustainable world where all people in every country have regular access to a sufficient supply of nutritious food. For some more than others, this may be easily attainable, but here in SVG, deputy principal of Kingstown Preparatory School, Jonathan Noel told SEARCHLIGHT the school intends to teach its students about the value of locally produced food at an early age.

“Currently for World Food Day, Kingstown Prep School, we’re doing local foods, local produce, fruits, vegetables, and what we are saying in terms of the students doing the World Food Day programme in various classes- what we did this year is instead of having these big celebrations or exhibition if you want to put it that way- we are doing it class by class and by doing so, each class would adopt or select a fruit or fruits or vegetables and look at the things you can make from that,” Noel said.

He said all the students were told to select a local fruit or vegetable. Noel took SEARCHLIGHT on a tour of the classrooms, showing the various offerings on display, including mango breads, breadfruit pies and multiple fruit juices.

Noel said before students returned to physical classes, the teachers were trying to encourage them to eat healthier, local fruits instead of snacks.

“When we were home before we came back to the school fully, we adopt a day,Wednesday; every week each child instead of eating the normal snacks in the packs and bottles, those unhealthy snacks, they would get one single fruit for that day on Wednesday, every single week,” he said.

Noel is hoping that the school can return to their expansive, exhibition-style displays that were a staple in the pre-COVID years.

He had some advice for those who may be on the fence about eating more local foods, saying “Eating local doesn’t just benefit your health and the farmers in your community, it also has a host of positive benefits, whether it be economic, social, environmental; what we would want to encourage for the children is local food tends to taste fresher, have more nutrients and use less packaging, and supporting local food will lead to a stronger local economy, he noted.

“In other words, when they eat the local fruits or food, it benefits them because the food most of the time is fresher and more healthy for them to consume.”

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