WFP launches hot meals programme in Venezuelan schools
"School meals are more than a plate on the table," said Laura Melo, WFP Country Director in Venezuela. "A plate of fresh, tasty food is an important incentive for children to attend and stay in school, where they belong. Everything from there is a win: better learning, better health and nutrition, better opportunities for them and their families."
WFP’s school meals programme started in Venezuela in 2021, and has since delivered take-home food baskets to more than 450,000 people in eight states, covering 2,000 schools. The main recipients are children and school personnel, including people with disabilities who attend special education schools.
The hot meals begin as a pilot programme in schools of three municipalities (Falcón, Miranda and Zamora), where the kitchens have been also equipped and upgraded. The food baskets remain in place as a complement for families at home.
"These types of programmes are a strong platform to help generate demand for locally-produced nutritious food, which means development opportunities for the communities as well," Melo added.
In March 2023, WFP’s strategic plan for the next two years in Venezuela was presented and approved by its Executive Board, in agreement and coordination with national authorities. School communities continue to be at the center of that plan, with the school meals programme as the entry point for comprehensive interventions related to nutrition, livelihoods, education, among others.
WFP aims to expand this programme to other states in the country – ramping up to reach a planned one million people by the end of 2023.
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The U.N. World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.