Ashanti-regional caterers working for the Ghana School Feeding Program (GSFP) are requesting that the government pay them their back arrears in addition to increasing the amount paid every meal for each child.
The caterers, who are now on strike, claim that the GHS79 pesewas provided to them per child is no longer sufficient to cover the cost of a meal because of the rise in the costs of products and foodstuffs.
In order to express their complaints, the caterers therefore surrounded the office of Ashanti Regional Minister Simon Osei-Mensah on Monday, April 3, 2022.
Yet the Minister refused to let them speak.
The head of the caterers, Auntie Naa, told the media on Tuesday, April 4, 2023, that despite their long-standing calls for an increase, nothing has changed.
She said they would stay at home on strike until the government listened to them, and they would not care if doing so resulted in the termination of their employment agreements.
Nonetheless, they demand that government prioritize paying their debts in full before doing anything else.
“They should pay us our monies fully, all the two terms arrears because, we don’t have a problem. Because the Government himself knows that today you cannot use GHS2 to buy food in the country.”
She stressed that the money being paid per child was inadequate.
“Can we use 7pesewas to cook? When we started cooking at that time, oil was GHS102 per gallon but now that I’m talking to you we buy oil for GHS700 per gallon. We didn’t ask government to give us GHS7 because of the increase in the price of goods on the market so I think the government will listen to us,” she opined.
“Maybe the government is unaware of what is happening in that Ministry, which is why we came out for him to hear our plea,” she continued.
Under the Ghana School Feeding Program, the government presently pays 79 pesewas per meal every child.
The government has been urged to raise the amount to account for the recent spike in food prices.
Meanwhile, program participants who work as caterers have repeatedly urged the government to provide timely payments.