By Joshua Olomu
The National Council of Women Societies (NCWS) and My Food Bank (MFB) Nigeria, have trained 500 persons on meal distribution mechanism as part of measures to address food security challenges.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the “Food Managers Training’’, with participants drawn from established and intending food vendors, held on Saturday in Abuja.
Mrs Gloria Shoda, National President of NCWS, who flagged- off the event, said the training was geared toward equipping the participants with necessary skills to effectively improve in producing healthy food for the public.
Shoda, represented by her Senior Special Assistant (Project), Mrs Oluwayemisi Nathaniel, said the NCWS was collaborating with MFB to mitigate food crisis.
“As the food managers training and certification exercise officially flags off today, I have a firm belief that a new army is being mobilised to inject a new life into food security drive in Africa.
“My Food Bank Managers will join in the fight against hunger and food insecurity by engaging in an effective food distribution network with over 20,000 food managers across the country.
“We will work with the governments through My Food Bank Nigeria to ensure that Nigeria takes the lead in ending hunger not just in Africa, but in the world at large.
“We stand with My Food Bank goal of making Nigeria the food capital of the world by 2023,” Shoda said.
She said that the food managers to be produced would cook and distribute food and equally create an atmosphere of food security in the country,’’ she said.
Mr Ali Maina, President of Africa Food Bank Farm, initiators of My Food Bank Nigeria, praised the participants for “embracing the call for a hunger-free Nigeria’’.
He said the programme was aimed at creating avenues for millions of people to have access to affordable and free food in any part of the country.
“It is a response to the call by Mr President that we need to address the problem of poverty and hunger.
“We want every Nigerian to have access to food irrespective of their locations and social standing, in order to eliminate hunger, because when you end hunger, you have solved many other problems’’, Maina said.
The participants were taught nutritional values of foods, personal hygiene, customer relations skills and the technicalities of the MFB programme.
Mrs Laraba Murey, Training Coordinator of MFB, told NAN on the sidelines that the training would be extended to other parts of the country.
Murey said that, to benefit from it, one would have to obtain a smart card to be loaded through a specialised voucher in order to access meals from designated managers across the country.
According to her, the first one million My Food Bank smart cards have been released for people to use for accessing cheap and affordable food.
She said: “The next stage of this capacity development programme will begin with Kogi, Benue, Nasarawa and Borno.
“We are getting support from the national government and international donors who are funding the programme as well as well-meaning Nigerians.’’
NAN reports that “My Food Bank” programme was launched in December 2018, with President Muhammadu Buhari pledging support for the project.