Helpdesk report: school feeding

Literature Reviews
37 p.

School feeding has led to measurable gains in education and health outcomes, as evidenced widely in the literature. There are a few evaluations showing little or no improvement in education and health outcomes. This may be less widely reported or highlighted. Recording of economic benefits has received little attention. A Cochrane review by Kristjansson et al. (2007) investigated the effects of school feeding on health for disadvantaged children. It concluded that there were some small benefits. Jomaa et al. (2011) conducted a systematic review to look at impacts of school feeding on health and education outcomes. This review found relatively consistent positive outcomes for energy intake, micronutrient status, school enrolment, and attendance. This review notes that the effects of school feeding on growth, cognition, and academic achievement was less conclusive. This overview presents some of the nutrition, education and economic outcomes identified. It then presents findings on programme costs and design considerations which provide lessons for sustainability and affordability. Finally some cost-benefit analysis findings are presented and trade-offs discussed.

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