As the current global food crisis is pushing more children into food insecurity, school meals programmes remain invaluable safety nets for the most vulnerable. By providing the potentially only meal of the day to vulnerable children, their health, education and well-being can be protected. The resilience of whole communities can be increased if school feeding programmes are put in place and strengthened.
Of the total number of children participating under a WFP-supported school feeding programme in 2021, 6 million received school meals in humanitarian emergency settings affected by conflict or natural disasters.
In 39 countries, WFP supported the establishment or strengthening of home-grown school feeding programmes with the objectives of promoting dietary diversity, introducing fresh, local food into school meals, and linking national programmes to local smallholder production.
Given school meals’ proven benefits across sectors, a group of countries led by Finland and France, established the global School Meals Coalition. Supported by WFP, the Coalition aims at ensuring that every child has the opportunity to receive a healthy, nutritious daily meal in school by 2030. By the end of 2021, 66 countries and 65 partners joined the Coalition.
In 2021, WFP provided school meals or snacks to 15.5 million schoolchildren in 78 countries.
To learn more about WFP school feeding programmes in 2021, please see this infographic.