(PRESS RELEASE) – Two weeks after the National Political Leader of the St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP), the Rt Hon Dr Denzil Douglas, accused the Timothy Harris-led Team Unity Government of “irresponsibility” by not including the Schools Meals Feeding Programme in its rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic while schools are closed, the Ministry of Education announced such a programme will begin next week.
“This is why it was really irresponsible of the Harris administration not to have included a feeding programme as part of its rapid response plans,” said Dr Douglas during his “Ask the Leader ” weekly programme on April 14th.
“For instance, in many countries, the school meals programme remained operational even during these days of school closure, providing hot breakfast and hot lunches for our children. But what do we see here, we understand that the school feeding kitchen has been used, not to feed the children, but to feed the selected few, in a few selected constituencies to exact, in my opinion, political gain,” said Dr Douglas.
His comment on the use of the kitchen of the schools meals programme was as a result of evidence that food was cooked at the center and given to selected residents in St Christopher 7, the constituency represented in the National Assembly by Prime Minister Dr the Hon Timothy Harris.
In his April 14 statement Dr Douglas said the Next Gen SKN Party “is committed to doing our part to fill the void that has been created due to a lack of a compassionate programme for our working poor and the many unemployed.”
In what was labelled “an urgent public announcement,” the Ministry of Education said the school meals programme will commence on May 5 for “students who make the require the service.
Former prime minister Douglas has also been calling for the SKNLP to be part of a national stakeholders group to assist in the fight against COVID-19, but Prime Minister Harris has repeatedly rejected such a request.
Dr Harris has also been accused of only reacting to ideas and suggested from the SKNLP or programmes implemened by neighboring islands in the fight against the coronavirus.