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Schools in Latin America and the Caribbean are equipped to ensure safe food for students

  |   SUN Country Network, SUN UN Network

The return to schools in the pandemic represents also an opportunity for many students to ensure a nutritious and healthy meal. However, the reality of this return has been marked by concern for safety, especially in the handling, conservation and preparation of school meals.

In order to guarantee the safety of millions of children, as well as the food they consume in the school environment, the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MRE), the National Fund for Educational Development (FNDE), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) organized actions under the “Joint Strategy to Strengthen Sustainable School Feeding Programs in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) – safe environment during and post-pandemic ”.

The initiative was implemented within the framework of the Sustainable School Feeding Network (Red de Alimentación Escolar Sostenible-RAES) with 11 countries in the region: Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Granada, Guatemala, Guyana, Dominican Republic, Peru, Paraguay, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The RAES network was created by the Brazilian government in 2018, within the framework of the United Nations Decade of Action for Nutrition (2016-2025), to support partner countries in the implementation and reformulation of school feeding programs, based on access and guaranteeing the human right to adequate food.

The Joint Strategy, carried out under the projects “South-South Cooperation for the Strengthening of Sustainable School Feeding Programs in Developing Countries” and “Consolidation of School Feeding Programs in Latin America and the Caribbean”, aimed to stimulate and facilitate the planning and implementation of a safe school reopening process, according to regulations and protocols prepared by the education and health authorities of each country.

A remote event, divided into two days, marked the end of the first phase of the activities scheduled for the Joint Strategy: the delivery of kits for hand hygiene (washbasins), conservation (refrigerators), and supply and food preparation (kitchen utensils). These items were selected by each of the 600 schools benefited in the 11 countries based on their specific needs. The kits will serve to reduce the chances of spreading COVID-19 through appropriate hand hygiene practices, and to promote the offer of healthy food, marked by the consumption of fresh products, rich in vitamins and other nutrients that favor the promotion of students’ health.

The Joint Strategy will also have, in phase II, training activities for professionals in subjects such as safety, quality and hygiene protocols in the implementation of school feeding programs in the context of pandemic and post-pandemic.

More Information

• Schools in Latin America and the Caribbean are equipped to ensure safe food for students – FAO Americas

 

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