Challenges to School Feeding Programmes

School Feeding Programmes : School feeding programs have been defined by the World Bank as “targeted social safety nets that provide both educational and health benefits to the most vulnerable children.

Thereby increasing enrollment rates, reducing absenteeism, and improving food security at the household level”.

Beyond improvements in access to food, school feeding programs also have a positive impact on nutritional status, gender equity, and educational status, each of which contributes to improving overall levels of country and human development.

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Challenges to School Feeding Programmes

While school feeding programs have a variety of positive impacts.

There are some possible negative impacts these programs can cause.

For example, school feeding programs can increase the cost of schooling.

By requiring that communities provide fire-wood for cooking.

As well as other items such as fresh-fruit, vegetables, and condiments. International Food Policy

Additionally, communities are also expected to provide people who can cook these meals.

And maintain stores of all of the required food products, as well as kitchens and other fundamentals of meal provision.

By causing a variety of needs and requirements to increase in a given community, the net benefit to a community from school feeding programs may be reduced.

School feeding programs are very context-specific.

And each community’s program must be altered based on the demographics, geography, and other patterns within and outside of schools.

For this reason, there are a variety of challenges that emerge in the creation and implementation of school feeding programs.

A successful program requires that countries:

  • Determine if school feeding is the most effective program to target needy children
  • Define program goals and outcomes
  • Select the type of food to serve
  • Determine a food procurement method
  • Plan for management, implementation, and monitoring within schools—and a variety of other concerns

School Feeding Programmes

Because school feeding programs are community-specific and require a great deal of planning.

The sustainability of school feeding programs is a main point of concern for many countries.

Countries are very limited on the demands placed on the staff.

Resources, and infrastructure required for school-feeding programs.

And often have to rely on outside financial and personnel help to continue programs for a significant amount of time.

Results of school feeding programs in low-income countries

Though school feeding produces a variety of anticipated impacts.

As mentioned above, much research and evaluation is being done to determine the results of school feeding programs in low-income countries.

School feeding program results are often context-specific.

But lessons from a variety of communities can help evaluate school feeding program effectiveness.

Researchers at the International Food Policy Research Institute have critically assessed evidence from developing countries to define preliminary results of these programs.

These assessments found that the timing of meals is not a critical factor in the positive effects on learning and cognition.

And thus take-home rations can perform as well as in-school meals.

And that in-school meals may even disrupt learning.

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School Feeding Programmes

In some settings, take-home rations are more cost-effective than in-school meals.

And the study argued that some country programs may be optimized by focusing resources on take-home rations.

Additionally, it was found that in the study setting, school attendance improved learning more significantly than nutrition status improvements.

But that school feeding programs encouraged attendance and still have a positive net result on education levels.

In a study done , it was shown that there is no evidence that higher-calorie meals positively impact school enrollment and attendance.

First-grade enrollment age and grade repetition, and fourth-grade test scores over average-calorie school feeding meals in Child’s national program.

Thus, to produce significant positive results.

Should focus more on the nutritional composition of school meals, rather than caloric content alone.

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