‘This is weird’ – Ashanti Regional Minister incurs wrath of striking school feeding caterers


School feeding caterers across the Ashanti Region have withdrawn their services over unpaid arrears.

They say several appeals to drum home their demands have been ignored by the government. They are also pushing for an increase in the feeding grant from 97 pesewas to three cedis, per child.

Our reason is simple, during Covid-19, we cooked but the government didn’t make full payment. We have been complaining since but to no avail. Currently, we’ve cooked for students for three terms, and they have still not made full payment, one of the caterers poured out her frustrations to the media.

“It’s been days of struggle”, another said. “Some of our colleagues are dying. They are being chased by the banks and we can’t feed the young children with such a meagre amount. This is unfair”.

“We miss Otiko Afisa, when she was there, she can pay for 40 days and communicate with us that she will pay the remaining 10 or 15 days so everybody will know that school feeding is owing us 15 days,” another said.

“But since Cynthia Morrison and the others took over, no one has been giving us any update, they only pay the number of days they want to pay, period,” the caterer added.

The protesters after making a brief stop at the Regional School Feeding Secretariat marched to the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council to present a petition to the Regional Minister Simon Osei-Mensah.

The Minister however turned his back on the protesters because he was unhappy with how the caterers responded to his calls for calm. A verbal exchange which ensued between Mr Osei-Mensah and the caterers disrupted activities at the Regional Coordinating Council.

“If your child comes to you with chants in demand for a favour, will you be happy? You only brought a petition, why don’t you go ahead,” the Minister said as he inched back to his office.

This did not sit well with the caterers who vented their anger on the president’s representative.

“Frustrated as we are we came [to the RCC] to seek the Minister’s intervention but that did not happen. We are unhappy with the Minister’s conduct. He could have at least heard us. This is very weird, to say the least”, one of the caterers angrily said.

The caterers are expecting arrears for the third term in the previous academic year to be paid before they resume work.

They have threatened to throw away the meals cooked by colleagues who may go contrary to the decision.

The strike by the aggrieved caterers comes a day before basic schools resume academic work. There are fears this development could affect teaching and learning.


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