School children on Saba are receiving a daily healthy, free school meal, funded by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (SZW), to help families with the increased cost of living.
In October last year, Minister for Poverty Policy, Participation, and Pensions Carola Schouten informed the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament that she wanted to give an impulse to the provision of free school meals in the Caribbean Netherlands.
The Minister noted that this impulse, in anticipation of measures that would take effect on January 1, 2023, to improve people’s purchasing power, was desirable in these exceptional times when more and more families with children were struggling to make ends meet.
The Public Entity Saba already plays an active part in public and private initiatives to provide healthy meals. Minister Schouten granted the Public Entity Saba a special payment to provide free school meals. The Sacred Heart School (SHS) and Saba Comprehensive School (SCS) were informed of the Minister’s decision and asked to submit a formal request for assistance with the free breakfast program.
The Executive Council recently approved a proposal to make a payment to the two schools towards their breakfast program. The school meal especially has a positive impact on children who don’t have a proper breakfast before going to school. The school was asked to cooperate with Saba’s Public Health Department to ensure that the breakfast meals are healthy and nutritious.