Secondary schools resort to food rationing as inflation bite

Schools are now rationing and changing menus as prices of cereals, wheat and other food products escalate.

The rising cost of food and ongoing disruptions to the supply chain is shrinking the menu for students across the country.

Some schools have been forced to pull back or make substitutions to deal with the spiraling cost of key ingredients such as maize, beans and potatoes.

At Aiku Secondary School in Igembe Sub-County, the management and cafeteria staff has had to improvise. They used to offer three entrées a day, but now it’s down to just one.

“Maize price per kilogramme has gone up so we have substituted porridge for mixed tea and coffee,” said Ms Rose Mueni, the school principal.

Ms Mueni said the school can produce milk hence they can substitute with the less expensive alternatives.

“For cabbages, we have substituted with kale (sukumawiki) which is cheaper and readily available within the school gardens,” said Ms Mueni.

Schools have become one of the most affected institutions by increased food inflation in the country and the unavailability of food items.

Some teachers say they have stopped co-curriculum activities in schools due to a lack of funds.

“We have stopped any other activity in the school for example projects by students, we have stopped so we can focus on feeding and sustaining the students in schools,” said Ms Charity, also a school head.

At some schools, there is only one entrée a day, and rationed portions of food due to problems around supply and the skyrocketing prices.

School principals decry a strained school term as food items become more expensive for the sustainability of the learning institutions.

They say they have not collected enough lunch levies to purchase food and pay non-permanent staff.

Two school heads said rationing of food has not sat well with the students but the situation is unavoidable.

Some schools have huge pending bills owed to suppliers of various food items which has affected their business relationships with these companies.

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