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Economy

Schools alter meal plans over high food prices

A shopkeeper calculates the total price of two packets of maize flour for a customer in Nyeri.  PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NMG
A shopkeeper calculates the total price of two packets of maize flour for a customer in Nyeri. Learning institutions have been forced to alter their meal plans and find alternatives due to the high food prices, especially maize flour.. FILE PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NMG 

Learning institutions have been forced to alter their meal plans and find alternatives due to the high food prices, especially maize flour.

Schools have now opted for rice and other cereals to cope with the challenge.

Other learning institutions have been forced to turn to other kitties to purchase foodstuff after their food budgets got strained.

School managers, however, have appealed to the government to consider procuring subsidised food items to ensure smooth learning in schools.

They say unlike in the past when the government used to chip in and give relief food to schools, their institutions now have to find their own ways of sustaining students, especially with strict regulations of school fees by the Ministry of Education.

At the United Methodist Mission School in Nakuru, rice and beans is now a common meal on the menu of the more than 500 students.

An alternative to beans is green grams.

The school bursar, Ms Rachel Maina, said the schools purchases cereals from opens markets where the prices are now high, a part from that of rice.

A 50kg bag of rice sells at Sh3,900 compared with Sh90 kg of maize which goes for 4,900, up from Sh 3,500 in December 2016.

A 90-kilogramme bag of beans is being sold at between Sh 6,800 and Sh 7,700.

Once a week

Mona Secondary School, with a population of 220 students, has not been spared either, resorting to serving ugali just once a week.

Rice and a mixture of beans and maize (githeri) are the dominant meals on the school’s menu.

The school principal Mr Francis Maina said the management informed students and parents of the challenge.

Mr Maina said although the school had procured most of the foodstuffs at the beginning of the term, there is fear that it might not last until schools close in August.

At the Nakuru GK prison, the situation is no different.

The officer in charge, Mr James Sawo, says the correctional facility depends on supplies from contractors who can longer cope with the high prices.

“Although it is the duty of the contractors to supply to us, the effects of the shooting prices are felt everywhere and they are not an exception,” he said.

He said the terms of supply have not been changed and contractors have are already complaining

An increase in prices will require consultation and evaluation before any adjustments are made.

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