WFP & Partners Commemorate 9th African Day of School Feeding

The World Food Programme (WFP), alongside the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MAFS), on March 1, 2024, joined hands with partners to celebrate the 9th Africa Day of School Feeding, shining a light on the transformative impact of Home-Grown school feeding programs. These programs, which integrate schools with local farmers, ensure a stable supply of fresh, nutritious meals for schoolchildren while supporting smallholder farmers with a predictable market.

At the Roman Catholic Primary School in Zimmi, pupils like Musa Sesay and Kadiatu Sheriff expressed gratitude for the program’s positive influence on their education. Musa emphasized how the program helped him focus better in class, while Kadiatu highlighted its role in providing not only sustenance during the school day but also supplemental income for her family, supporting her education.

Head Teacher, Abu Sheriff, noted a significant rise in enrollment, attributing it to improved academic performance and the assurance of a meal during the school day. He reported a remarkable 100 percent pass rate in external exams since the program’s inception.

Yvonne Forsen, WFP Country Director, underscored the manifold benefits of school feeding, citing a cost-benefit analysis indicating a remarkable return on investment. She emphasized the program’s role as a vital social safety net, benefitting over 700,000 children across Sierra Leone in the last school year alone.

With plans to expand the Home-Grown initiative, WFP aims to reach more children in vulnerable and food-insecure regions. Collaborating with smallholder farmers, the program intends to increase rice procurement substantially by 2024.

The occasion also marked the launch of the home-grown school feeding logo, symbolizing food produced by local farmers for Sierra Leonean schoolchildren. Sagane Thiaw, Country Director of World Vision International Sierra Leone, highlighted their organization’s complementary role in the program, particularly in WASH interventions.

In February 2024, WFP and World Vision International signed a memorandum of understanding to integrate school feeding with Water, Hygiene, and Sanitation programs, aiming to enhance the nutrition of primary school children.

Sengbe Roger Koker, Director of the School Feeding Secretariat, reiterated the Government’s commitment to feeding 800,000 children across Sierra Leone through the school feeding program. Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Theresa T. Dick, urged farmers to increase food production to support the Feed Salone initiative.

The event concluded with a joint visit to a farm, supplying rice and vegetables to the school, emphasizing the close link between local agriculture and school feeding programs.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here