In the poorest and most food insecure districts of Rwanda, school meals are a lifeline for many families. A daily school meal provides a strong incentive to send children to school and keep them there. It helps to increase school enrollment and attendance, decrease dropout rates, and improve learning.
The World Food Programme (WFP) provides students in food insecure districts of Rwanda with a daily hot lunch composed of maize, beans, vegetable oil and salt and hot porridge made of highly nutritious fortified food as part of their Home Grown School Feeding initiative. The school lunch accounts for more than half the attained recommended daily allowances of energy, protein, Vitamin A, iron, and iodine for about 40 percent of students, and is often the largest meal of the day and in frequent cases the only meal.
In 2017 we formed a partnership with the WFP to support this initiative and bring nutrition-sensitive gardens to 104 primary schools in four new districts in the Southern and Western provinces, expanding our reach to an additional 87,000 individuals.
Our work will help improve access to more nutritious and diverse foods for the school lunch program and promote a sustainable path towards food security at the school level.