School Meals -- In-depth

Where does WFP run school meals programmes?


Click here to see a full sized version of the map showing how many countries benefit from WFP school meals.

WFP school meals facts & figures

Click here for a pdf containing all all the facts & figures on WFP school meals projects in 2009 and 2010.

School meals programmes around the world

Click here to visit the Home Grown School Feeding website for technical support on policy and program and for evidenced-base data in the HGSF knowledge base. Find here some information on the historical work on school meals programmes in Europe and North America produced by the School Nutrition Association.


School meals can be used to effectively tackle hunger, nutrition, education, gender inequality and broader development issues. They transfer much needed income to food insecure households.

WFP has worked with governments and NGOs on school meals for 45 years. Good practices and lessons learned were identified from this experience, including 8 quality standards for the implementation of sustainable school meals programmes. These 8 quality standards are the basis for WFP’s new approach to school meals.

School meals are implemented in emergency, protracted relief and recovery and development contexts. Last year there were WFP school meals programmes in 62 countries


Building strong partnerships with governments, United Nations agencies, Non-Governmental Organisations, the private sector and communities are crucial for the sound implementation of school meals programmes. 

5 Outcomes

The five main outcomes of school feeding are:

  • Nutrition: improved micronutrient intake and macronutrient intake leads to enhanced nutrition and child health, increased learning and decreased morbidity for students;
  • Education: school feeding can help to get children into school and to keep them there, through enhancing enrolment and reducing absenteeism;
  • Gender: the positive contribution of school feeding to gender equality is proved. Access to education is increased for orphans and vulnerable children, internally displaced persons and HIV affected;
  • Value transfer: school feeding transfers resources to households, averting negative coping strategies and allowing investments in productive assets;
  • Local development: school feeding is often linked to health and nutrition/essential package interventions. School feeding favours spin offs to community development and local production, in particular when food is being sourced from poor, small-holding farmers.


 General information:

Key publications and resources:


School feeding programme design tools: