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  • 08 / 21 / 2007

Vehicles delivered to support 'School lunch Program' in Cuba

The first of 209 restored vehicles were delivered on Saturday by the Ministry of Internal Trade (MINCIN by its acronym in Spanish) to support Havanas school meals program this coming school year.

The delivery ceremony, which took place outside the Latin American Stadium, was presided over by Marino Murillo, minister of Internal Trade, and Keyla Estevez, vice-president of the Jose Marti Organization of Elementary and Secondary School Students.

During the ceremony, the drivers of the initial 32 vehicles signed a code that obliges them to act with responsibility to ensure that school lunches reach every school within the required quality parameters and that the vehicles are used rationally.

Since the beginning of the program nearly five years ago, workers have guaranteed the delivery of nearly 360,000 lunches daily in 686 secondary schools across the island. Keyla Estevez praised the effort to ensure that 300,000 students and 45,000 workers at secondary schools receive meals.

Rafael Gonzalez Ferrat, deputy minister of MINCIN, said that the fleet in the provinces of Las Tunas and Guantanamo were also declared ready. He also said that the 209 blue and white trucks are properly identified with signs that states their social goal and with the telephone number of their operations center

Ferrat also said that among the other actions to guarantee the quality of the school lunch program is a $700,000 budget to assure the maintenance of these vehicles and to guarantee the repair and opening of all 356 food preparation; this will guarantee the freshness of the food by shortening the distance between suppliers and consumers.

Secondary students in Cuba previously attended only one session - in the morning or afternoon. This gave them only four hours in school. As part of a series of nationwide educational reforms, double sessions have been instituted allowing students to spend the whole day in school. To support this new measure, the school lunch program was introduced as part of the government-sponsored initiatives.

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