The Impact of School Feeding Programs

One of the underlying reasons for establishing school feeding program is to provide targeted families and their children, an incentive to attend school. It is popular strategy for achieving both educational and social objective among school children, which includes combating and fighting hunger and malnutrition. Furthermore, the idea of using feeding programs becomes a vehicle for targeting more opportunities in the community.

Early malnutrition can adversely affect physical, mental and social aspects of child’s health, which as a result leads on underweight, stunted growth, lowered immunity and mortality. The lack of nutrition imposes significant economic costs on individuals and nations, including how it affects on academic performance and behaviors at school and long term productivity among adults. Problems like delayed entry to school, less overall schooling, smaller stature and lower school performance among children represent a great motivation to impose feeding programs. Thus, it can be a powerful instrument for achieving various multi-sector benefits, from education, food security, nutrition and even agricultural development. Its potential impact on education is that aside from alleviating short- term hunger among children, proper nutrition improves children’s cognitive functioning and attention. Better nutrition provides them better assistance to diseases which would keep them from attending school, thus would indirectly improve educational achievement. Food preferences usually stemmed from lower income among families. They are left with limited food choices, thus inadequate diets. School feeding programs could help supplement the problem for malnourished children through providing them with healthy meals. Lastly, it could also impart the country’s agricultural development and local economy by using locally- produced food and providing a source of income for small holder farmers.

The impact of feeding programs varies widely depending on how it is designed, implemented and evaluated. The core of implementing feeding program among school is not just for the benefit of a particular institution or area of a community, it is for the holistic productivity of the nation. While it is important to note the benefits that can be derived from it, its success depends upon the support of parties involved.

By: Amy G. Capacio
      Teacher 3, Casisang Central School