Schools receive kitchen equipment to ensure primary school children receive nutritious and fresh lunches. Improving school meals is a three-year WFP operation that is entirely funded by the Russian Federation to help develop sustainable school meals models in Kyrgyz schools.
WFP provides pilot schools with a wide range of kitchen equipment to including electric stoves and gas ovens, dough-making machines, potato peelers, vegetable cutters, water boilers, industrial pans and pots – all to enable school chefs to cook nutritious meals for children.
Though WFP-supported school meals improvement programme has been launched in Kyrgyzstan only a few months ago, parents and teachers are seeing many positive results including higher attendance rates and an improved school performance.
WFP supported local authorities in funding the reconstruction of sanitary facilities in pilot schools across Kyrgyzstan to ensure all children have an opportunity to wash their hands before meals. Parents and teachers have already observed that children are acquiring healthy hygiene habits.
For many Kyrgyz children, especially from poorest rural families, their school lunch is a major meal during the day. Therefore, WFP ensures that school meals are nutritious and provide children with the energy and vital minerals and vitamins they need for their cognitive and physical development.
WFP is assisting the government t in boosting its national school feeding programme through implementing this pilot project in 250 schools in the most food-insecure rural areas across the country. This experience along with the National School Feeding Policy, which is being advocated for by WFP, will serve as a foundation for designing sustainable school meals models for all Kyrgyz schools.
Before WFP intervention, many schools had to throw away packs of bread rolls every day as children refused to eat them. When WFP recommended new menus for schools children started to enjoy eating freshly cooked porridge or soup, which teachers say has resulted in better concentration and performance. WFP-supported improved school meals programme allowed for introducing nutritious soups and porridges instead of the previous unfortified bread rolls or cookies at the same budget the Government had allocated.
Mastava, a traditional Kyrgyz rice soup with vegetables, has become one of most favourite meals for primary school children after WFP recommended to include it in school menu. While soups and other meals are cooked on the funds allocated from the national budget, WFP supplements it with fortified wheat flour used for baking vitamin-rich pastry.
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