Indonesia - School Meals The Local Way
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Published on 26 August 2011

 A parent cooks maize porridge for Local Food Based School Meal Programme in NTT Province, Indonesia

In Indonesia, a new approach to school meals is doing more than just ensuring kids get something healthy to eat every day.

Around the world, WFP school meals play a vital role in getting kids to school, keeping them there on a regular basis, and helping them concentrate in class on a full, satisfied stomach.  

In Indonesia’s Timor Tengah Selatan (TTS) district, WFP is taking school meals in a new direction, strengthening its partnership with national and local authorities in the process, and giving the local agricultural economy a shot in the arm at the same. 

WFP phased out the provision of fortified biscuits in 2010, but under a new programme run jointly with the government, WFP is now supporting schools with a new school meal programme, using foodstuffs grown and purchased locally such as beans and maize. 

Yublina A Tahun is the principal of Oenali Elementary School in TTS and is delighted with the way things are going, not least the way in which parents have got involved, dividing up roles and responsibilities amongst themselves to ensure that this new programme works as smoothly and efficiently as possible. 

“I was worried because in the past parents had shown little involvement in school activities,” said Ms Tahun. “I was also sad when the supply of biscuits stopped and felt bad for the children at my school, but I am very hopeful that this new school meals programme using local foods will continue long into the future.”

WFP’s school meals programme using local foods is a pilot project in TTS, reaching about 4,100 students. In future, it is hoped the project will be scaled up to provide meals for over 10,000 children in school.