THE Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) has pledged to extend its feeding programme to schools that were affected by Cyclone Idai in Chimanimani earlier this year to prevent malnutrition and starvation.
GMAZ has for the past few months, been running a feeding scheme in cyclone Idai ravaged areas as part of efforts to improve school attendance among pupils from poor families and those who walk long distances to school.
Speaking during a millers' supplementary budget meeting with the Chimanimani community in Harare yesterday GMAZ media and public relations manager Mr Garikai Chaunza said they would continue with the feeding programme as some children were still facing food shortages.
He said the scheme was meant to fight stunted growth usually experienced in children who live in areas affected by such disasters.
"The Grain Millers Association of Zimbabwe (GMAZ) is willing to extend its feeding scheme in Chimanimani next year. The programme started soon after the Cyclone Idai disaster and we are working in 10 schools.
"The beneficiaries will be given porridge in the morning, maheu at break time and maize meal and beans in the afternoon. Our aim is to fight stunted growth in children."
Mr Chaunza said the programme was part of their corporate social responsibility programme and was a way of acknowledging Government's efforts to empower them
"As businesspeople and associations, we were empowered by the Government. We have more that we can offer, but we also stand guided by the Government," Mr Chaunza has said.
Mr Chaunza implored school heads and teachers to be transparent for the scheme to be sustained.
"We want to create goodwill and assist our children as they are the leaders of tomorrow. We need to be transparent and accountable. We believe schools are a neutral ground so please feed everyone," said Mr Chaunza.
Speaking at the same event one of the Chimanimani teachers Mrs Ellen Mangashaya thanked GMAZ for the gesture.
"I want to express my sincere gratitude to GMAZ for making this donation. Before they came on board, teachers were worried that children were not getting carbohydrates and proteins.
"This was having a negative effect on learners because they could not concentrate," she said.