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Home grown school feeding Program

Organization: United Nations

Country: Brazil

Forum: Obesity

Developed by the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), the Home Grown School Feeding (HGSF) Program aims to link school feeding with local agricultural production. It focuses in particular on connecting school feeding programs with local small-scale farmer production by creating access to a stable and long-term market for small landholders. School feeding is a well-recognized means of alleviating hunger while supporting education, nutrition health and community development. It can include providing meals or snacks to be eaten during school hours or distributing dry take home food rations to pupils in recognition of regular school attendance over a given period.

HGSF programs are running in countries across the world, including Benin, Kenya, Scotland, India and Brazil. In Brazil, the right to receive one free meal at school each day has been enshrined in the National Constitution since 1998 and a subsequent law stipulating that at least 30% of the food used in school feeding programs should be procured locally has been introduced. In the Municipality of Campinas in the State of Sao Paulo, the average daily cost of school food is US$0.27 per child. This cost is met by the State and municipal governments and the National Fund for Educational Development (FNDE).

Prior to this program, school food in Campinas often included sweet rice, porridge or pasta and soy juice. This was unpopular with the children and led to many taking their own food to school or going home to eat. Under the HGSF, fresh vegetables and fruit are now served every day and nearly 80% of pupils approve of the new menu.

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