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School Meals From Mali To Cambodia

School Meals - millions of beneficiaries

Primary school children in Kampong Thom, Cambodia, wait for class to begin. The United States McGovern-Dole Food for Education Program has helped WFP assist more than 6.5 million beneficiaries in 28 countries with over US$400 million in funding. Learn more at the Congressional Hunger Center

School Meals - locally grown food

A young boy in Kampong Thom, Cambodia eats breakfast before school begins. While WFP provides split yellow peas, oil, salt and rice to the school, local community members plant seeds provided by WFP to grow local greens to add to the children's daily meal.

School Meals - world of knowledge

Before the school day begins in the village of Sana in the Mopti Region of Mali, students recite their human rights, including the right to education. “We did not go to school and we see that the world is changing. This new world is a world of knowledge, and if you have knowledge the doors of opportunity will be opened to you,” says one mother.

School Meals - an incentive for parents

In the late afternoon, a young boy in the Mopti Region of Mali waters his family's plot of onions. In communities like Doumbara, WFP school meals provide an economic incentive for families to send their children to school.

School Meals - supporting markets

In addition to creating opportunities for students, school feeding programs have the potential to provide farmers and local industry with a reliable market. WFP in Mali will be one of the pilots for WFP's Purchase for Progress project, which aims to connect farmers better to markets.

School Meals - getting girls to school

Getting girls into the classroom is particularly challenging in some countries despite the fact that research shows that female education leads to decreased infant mortality rates, improved nutritional practices and better hygiene practices in the home. To encourage parents to send their daughters to school, WFP sends a dry food ration to the families of those female students who have an attendance rate of 80% or more.

School Meals - platform for health education

Children in Doumbara, Mali wash their hands before eating lunch. School feeding programs are often used as a platform to educate children about the importance of health and sanitation.

School Meals - looking to the future

Children carry their lunches from the kitchen to the classroom. When asked, why do you send your children to school? A mother in Sana, Mali, responded with this Malian proverb: “If you want to sit in the shade of a tree tomorrow, you have to water it today.”

These photos of WFP school feeding projects were taken by Elizabeth Whelan of the Congressional Hunger Center