Children's team taking a break after training on the sports field in school, Colombia, 2023. Photo Credit: Frazao Studio Latino via Getty Images

Society Latin America and the Caribbean17. March 2024

More and More Children Are Being Guaranteed School Meals

Thanks to political commitment and investment, more than half of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) countries had some form of school feeding program in 2022, thus contributing to children’s development, education, and well-being.

In 2022, a total of 80.3 million children received school meals in at least 19 out of 33 countries part of LAC, and the coverage ranged from 30% to 100%.

Inter-American Development Bank and the World Food Programme have jointly published a report presenting the state of school feeding programs in LAC in 2022 and their critical role in the region. The publication covers components, coverage, impacts, and scale, emphasizing the need to reach vulnerable children to prevent dropouts and the importance of integrating health and nutrition interventions. Strengthening coverage and program quality and regulatory frameworks, implementing local food procurement, investing in intercultural approaches, and enhancing multisectoral collaboration and partnerships are also largely encouraged.

World Food Programme

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