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From Hunger to Hope: How School Meals are Transforming Education in Africa.

Updated: Mar 20, 2023

Nigar Sultana

In a region like Africa, where many struggle to get enough food and stay alive, primary education is low on people's priorities. Feeding programs effectively incentivize people to send their children to schools and help combat malnutrition, improving attendance and academic performance. The feeding programs provide nutritious meals to school-aged children to improve attendance, academic performance, and overall health and well-being. Governments, non-governmental organizations, and international organizations such as the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization frequently implement these programs. The WFP school feeding program is one of Africa's most well-known food programs. Currently

implemented in over 50 countries, this program provides daily meals to millions of schoolchildren to improve their attendance and academic performance. According to a WFP study, the program resulted in a 20% increase in enrollment and a 10% improvement in test scores in Ethiopia (“School feeding | World Food Programme”).

Feeding programs in African schools are addressing various issues. Many children in poverty in Africa suffer from poor health and malnutrition, negatively impacting their regular attendance and ability to learn with concentration. Feeding programs are satiating hunger and improving children's overall health and well-being by providing daily nutritious meals to schoolchildren. A study by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that food programs in early childhood centers in Ethiopia and South Africa improved cognitive development among young children, resulting in better performance in school (IJERPH, 2017). Moreover, feeding programs in African schools also support local

agriculture by purchasing food from local farmers, known as the Homegrown School Feeding program (HSF). This program creates opportunities for the local economy to grow by creating more jobs and improving local communities' livelihoods—a chance to leave poverty. By supporting the local communities financially, the HSF program makes education more affordable for marginal people, influencing them to send their children to school. A recent impact evaluation of Ghana's national school feeding program, which serves 2.8 million children, found that homegrown school feeding increased agricultural sales and household income by 33%. (“Eat, grow, study: School feeding in Africa | World Food Programme”)

However, there are challenges and limitations to these African feeding programs. One major challenge is the need for more funding and resources, making reaching all children in need difficult. Moreover, sustainability and logistical issues such as transportation and storage are significant challenges for African feeding programs. To overcome these obstacles, governments, non-governmental organizations, and international organizations must collaborate to ensure that all children in Africa have access to nutritious meals and the opportunity to succeed in school.

It is of utmost importance for non-profit organizations like The Africa in Me to extend their assistance to families in need, as there is an ever-growing demand for such aid. The Africa in Me; supports families through the provision of food, support for the education of children, and initiation of small businesses. Your contribution to The Africa in Me can help us make a positive impact on the lives of African families. Please visit our website to learn more about the families we work with:

Works Cited

“Eat, grow, study: School feeding in Africa | World Food Programme.” WFP, 1 March

“School feeding | World Food Programme.” WFP,

(FAO, 2018).

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