1.8 million school children fed on first day of Kaduna State School Feeding Programme

Kaduna Executive Governor  Mallam El Ruifai joined children for their first school meal of the programme. 

Kaduna State in Nigeria has just annouced the successful launch of its state-wide Home Grown School Feeding (HGSF) programme. The government-led programme will provide one meal per day to 1.8 million pupils in the State's public primary schools. 

In line with the National School Feeding Programme, being championed by Professor Yemi Osinbajo,  Nigeria's Vice Presidentthe Kaduna HGSF programme is designed to provide nutritionally balanced meals for schoolchildren, create catering jobs and provide a boost to local agricultural producers as well as expose Kaduna State to new skills and hygiene standards.  

Through this programme over 17,000 catering vendors have been trained and employed and the food used in programme will be procured from local smallholder farmers. To ensure hygiene and nutritional standards are maintained a call centre has be created to monitor the success of the programme. 

To mark the launch His Excellency Governor of Kaduna State, joined the pupils at the school for break time lunch together with the commissioner and the team from the office of the Vice President.

Speaking at the launch,  Abimbola Adesanmi,  from Partnership for Child Development who are providing technical assistance to the programme said, 

"The postive impacts of Kaduna’s new school feeding programme are significant not only to the children whose health and education outcomes we would expect to improve but also the wider community who will benefit from more employment opportunities, increased agricultural investment and exposure to new  skills and hygiene standards."

"We look forward to providing  technical support to other states who are looking to follow  Kaduna’s lead and invest in their own HGSF programme."

The Kaduna School Feeding Menu

MONDAY -Yam/Sweet potato+ egg sauce

TUESDAY -Rice+beans+orange

WEDNESDAY- Beans porridge/vegetable+fish

THURSDAY -Moi moi +garnished with vegetable

FRIDAY- High Energy/Ordinary biscuit yoghurt/juice/milk

 Find out more about HGSF in Nigeria


Imperial College to the support scale-up of Nigeria’s new national school feeding programme

Nigeria School Feeding Programme aims to be the largest in Africa

Lesley Abuja meeting Nigeria cropImperial College London’s Partnership for Child Development has signed an agreement with the Federal Government of Nigeria to support the development of the country’s national school feeding programme. The programme aims to provide a free school meal every school day to 24 million primary school children, making it the largest national school feeding programme in Africa. 

PCD’s Executive Director, Dr Lesley Drake, who met with Nigeria’s Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo to sign a formal memorandum of understanding, said,

“The Nigerian School Meals Programme is very important. With 1 in 4 of school-aged children in Africa being Nigerian, this programme has the potential to have a profound positive impact on the health, education and financial security of millions of families.”

She continued. “We are honoured to be invited by the Government of Nigeria to provide our expertise to help in the scale up of this ambitious and innovative national initiative.”

PCD will be working closely with the Vice President’s office and state representatives to provide technical assistance to state governments to help design sustainable school feeding programmes which procure their food from local smallholder farmers.

Known as Home Grown School Feeding, these school feeding programmes provide a ‘win-win’ both to children and the local agricultural economy alike, with children enjoying the health and educational benefits that a nutritionally balanced school meal brings and the local economy enjoying the increased levels of income and investment that the school market provides.

The agreement follows a recent announcement of a N500billion (£1.7billion) budget allocation to fund social investments such as school feeding, conditional cash transfers for vulnerable groups and youth employment schemes.

The national school feeding programme builds on the success of the support PCD has been providing since 2013 to the Nigeria’s Osun State Government’s Home Grown School Meals Programme. Known locally as O’meals, the programme provides free school meals to the State’s 250,000 primary school children using food procured from local smallholder farmers.

PCD’s expertise in the field of school feeding is built on its track record in successfully supporting governments including those from Kenya, Ghana, Ethiopia, Mali, Tanzania, Uganda and Madagascar to develop school feeding programmes.

The roll out of the programme in January 2016 will initially target one state from each of the country’s 6 geopolitical regions before expanding out to other interested states.

To find out more about this programme contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it l, Partnership for Child Development, Imperial College London. 

Find out more about school feeding in Nigeria


SABER - Supporting the transition to sustainable school feeding programmes in Mauritania, Ethiopia and Haiti

Participants at Ethiopia's SABER workshop<br /> August 2015 For governments seeking to transition from donor assisted school feeding projects to nationally-owned programmes the Systems Approach for Better Education Results (SABER) is a vital analytical tool to help them identify policy gaps and develop effective action plans.

To enable countries to make the most of this tool Imperial College London’s Partnership for Child Development, the UN’s World Food Programme and the World Bank have joined forces to conduct a series of national SABER workshops designed to analyse countries’ school health and school feeding policies and programmes.

SABER is designed to give participants a detailed, objective, up-to-date, easy-to-understand snapshot of how well their country's education system is oriented toward delivering learning, based on measures that can be easily compared across education systems around the world.

To aid this process the workshops follow a participatory approach to bring together policy makers and major stakeholders to exchange experiences and share information. To-date over 20 workshops have been conducted with the latest Mauritania opening on 13th October.

In August 2015 SABER workshops were held in Ethiopia and Haiti. The workshops have shown that the majority of countries have little or no policies based around any of the internationally agreed five standards of good practice deemed necessary for effective school feeding programmes (Policy

Frameworks; Financial Capacity; Institutional Capacity and Coordination; Design and Implementation and Community Engagement).

As a result support has centred on facilitating the workshops to draft action plans and where necessary create taskforces to put into place the policies needed to develop and sustain effective national school feeding programmes.

The next countries to benefit from these workshops will be Ghana and Cameroon in November and December respectively.

To find out more about SABER click here.



Kofi Annan calls on Ghana to increase OSFP use to tackle child malnutrition

Kofi and Nane Annan with PCD speaking to OSFP specialist in Ghana

For organisations and governments looking to strengthen the linkages between agriculture and nutrition Orange-fleshed sweet-potatoes (OSFP), with their high levels of micronutrients, fibre and energy, represent a valuable but underutilized crop which can improve nutritional intake and financial return. As such PCD have been working with school feeding and agriculture stakeholders to promote the adoption and utilization of the OSFP by farmers and schools alike.

To highlight and identify the potential impact of increased OSFP production and consumption the former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan and his wife Nane Annan, recently traveled to Tamale in Northern Ghana to meet with OSFP farmers, scientists, government and development stakeholders including the International Potato Centre (CIP), Savannah Agricultural Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR – SARI), the Ghana School Feeding Programme and the Partnership for Child Development, amongst others.

Read more: Kofi Annan calls on Ghana to increase OSFP use to tackle child malnutrition


How buckets and digital gingerbread are beating child malnutrition in Ghana

impatientoptimist article3The
World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that over 44 million children under five are either overweight or obese. At the same time in low and middle income countries one in five children are stunted due to the poor diets. Malnutrition’s triple burden of stunting, micro-nutrient deficiency and obesity is a fact of life for many of the world’s children.

The good news is that every school day 368 million children sit down to a school meal.  This is important because we know from extensive research that school feeding is an effective way to fight malnutrition and improve life outcomes.

Governments in sub-Saharan Africa are increasing looking at ways to scale up sustainable school feeding programmes that source their food from local farmers. Known as Home Grown School Feeding, these programmes can potentially act as a ‘win-win’ for local communities by providing free nutritious school meals to children whilst at the same time providing a market for the produce of local farmers.

One such country is Ghana, which through its Ghana School Feeding Programme provides free school meals to over 1.7 million children every school day.

To meet this challenge, Imperial College London’s Partnership for Child Development(PCD) in partnership with Dubai Cares is working with the government to pioneer a new approach that is tackling child malnutrition head-on by linking together nutritious school meals with community focused nutrition and hygiene training.

Gingerbread and Buckets

school cook with handy measuresCreating nutritionally balanced school meals using local ingredients is not an easy thing to do. This is doubly true when the children relying on your school meals are from communities where food insecurity is high and malnutrition and anaemia are common conditions.

To help schools and caters to develop nutritious school meals, PCD has launched a state of the art, easy to use web-based school meals planner which allows users to create and fully cost menus using locally available ingredients. By linking local market prices to the ingredients, the tool displays the actual cost of each meal to the user.  With this information, programmes managers are able to create accurate and realistic school meals budgets.

The strength of the tools lies in its simplicity; you don’t need to be nutritionist to create healthy nutritionally balanced meals. Gingerbread children graphics to show how much a meal is meeting the recommended daily intake of nutrients as identified by the WHO.

The tool is designed to work in conjunction with ‘handy measures’ – everyday measuring utensils like buckets and spoons which PCD have calibrated to international standard units so that to caters can accurately recreate  nutritionally balanced meals without having to buy expensive kitchen scales and equipment.

One such cater is Stella who has just been employed by the Government to cook for  the 100 children that attend the New Mangonese Primary School  on the outskirts of the Accra, Ghana’s capital city, “I’ve learnt a lot in terms of how to prepare food hygienically and measure it out accurately so I’m cooking the right amounts.”

Healthy Homes

impatientoptimist articleGood child nutrition and hygiene starts at home. To ensure this the programme is promoting healthier lifestyles by training 400 community based health and nutrition champions to take the healthy living message deep into their local communities.

Through community meetings, the distribution of tens of thousands of health posters and radio jingles, community leaders and parents are being taught simple and practical ways to ensure that their children stay healthy and happy.

As mother of two, Mercy Awonor from Accra, can attest these health messages are getting through to parents and children alike, “I always knew the importance of cooking my children healthy meals but I wasn’t always sure what food was good and what was bad. Now with all the posters around the village and the health messages on the radio I know the food I should be cooking. My children also know what is good for them. ”

PCD’s Executive Director Dr Lesley Drake said, “By coupling high tech digital resources such as the meals planner with low tech community engagement, integrated school feeding and  health programmes are vital if governments are to tackle the malnutrition crisis facing the next generation. “

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