Meals provided in schools offer direct benefits to the health and
cognitive development of pupils and, with associated educational and
health interventions, can prepare children for a lifetime of healthy
nutrition. They may also encourage school enrolment for girls at
critical nutritional stages, deliver broader nutritional benefits to
households, and support other health-related interventions in schools.
Furthermore, they can enhance local agricultural production,
contributing to food and nutrition security.
This policy brief examines these potential contributions and evaluates
the evidence for their effectiveness. Evidence-based successes from
diverse contexts are highlighted to illustrate what is technically
feasible and economically viable. Particular emphasis is placed on
win-win opportunities that can arise from linking school meals with
local agriculture and food systems.
A 2-page summary of the messages for policy makers is also appended.
Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition. Healthy meals in schools: policy innovations linking agriculture, food systems and nutrition. Policy Brief No. 3. Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition, London, UK (2015) 16 pp.