29 May 2007

Marshall Islands school principal wants to see school lunch programme continued

10:29 am on 29 May 2007

The principal of a state-funded elementary school in the Marshall Islands says she would like to see a pilot school lunch programme continued.

Evelyn Konou of Delap Elementary school in Majuro says for a couple of months this year, the government funded lunch for students three times a week.

She says the programme hasn't been running long enough to be able to determine if it's making a difference but she believes it will have a positive impact.

Ms Konou says the problem is that many kids are coming to school without having had breakfast and many also go without lunch which lead to problems.

"Absenteeism and cut classes and sleeping in classes, and you know, they usually get sick, like headaches and stomach aches. They come to school and don't finish their school day because they are sick. I have not collected data on that but that's what I assume because they don't have enough food."

Ms Konou says many parents can't afford to buy basic food items like fruit and vegetables.