Homegrown school feeding is not only about feeding children better; it is about promoting social and economic inclusion in rural areas and guaranteeing access to food for food insecure populations. This was the WFP Centre of Excellence against Hunger’s message to the 130 participants of the Global School Feeding Meeting 2019, held by the World Food Programme in Rome. The event gathered WFP staff working with school feeding in 70 countries to discuss the institution’s strategy to advance school feeding.
The WFP Centre of Excellence participated in a session on home-grown school feeding and highlighted the importance of integrating local farmers into school feeding programmes as well as the different approaches to do so. The last time WFP had help a global meeting on school feeding was in 2011. WFP is in the process of designing a new school feeding strategy to improve and scale-up school feeding initiatives and to promote capacity development within the countries.
The strategy focuses on supporting child development on the first 8,000 days of life and on better positioning WFP to aid governments in the creation and implementation of multisectorial national school feeding programmes that contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
From 14 to 16 May, participants discussed nutrition-sensitive school feeding, how to scale-up home-grown school feeding, and the role of school feeding in emergencies. They also talked about the social protection opportunity that school feeding programmes represent and their central contribution to the SDGs, including gender equality. The implications of the new strategy at country level, the different approaches to partner with governments and donors, and capacity strengthening challenges were also discussed.