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WFP: Two Minutes on School Feeding

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What is School Feeding?

In-School Meals and Snacks: Children are provided with breakfast, lunch, or both, while in school. Meals are either prepared at the school, in the community or are delivered from centralised kitchens. Some programmes provide complete meals, while others provide fortified foods such as rice or nutritious snacks, high-energy biscuits or date bars. As often as possible, food is procured locally. Take-home Incentives: Families receive food and/or cash rations on the condition that their children attend school regularly. In-school meals, combined with these transfers, help to lower drop-out rates and bring more out-of-school children to the classroom.

Why School Feeding?

School meals are an essential safety net which helps to ensure that every child has access to education, health and nutrition. In the fight against hunger, school meals are a sound investment in the next generation. For this reason, WFP provided meals, snacks or take-home food to 18.3 million children in 71 countries in 2017. Children from vulnerable families are often pulled out of school when they are needed to work at home, or to be married. A daily meal or snack can be a strong incentive for families to keep sending their children to school.

WFP supports countries in developing sustainable government-owned programmes. WFP engages in school meals policy dialogue, provides technical assistance and supports knowledge exchange between countries. In 2017, WFP supported 65 governments to enhance the quality and efficiency of their national programmes, which resulted in enhanced school meals programmes for an additional 39 million children.