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Including gastronomy in the School Feeding Programme: The alternative to achieve the right to healthy, tasty and waste-free food

Guidance note for the pilot project in Barranquilla, Colombia

​Rueda, M.E., Mellado, J.P., Rivas-Mariño, G. 2021. Including gastronomy in the School Feeding Programme:The alternative to achieve the right to healthy, tasty and waste-free food​. Santiago de Chile, FAO. 

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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Including gastronomy in the School Feeding Programme – A necessary change to guarantee children's right to healthy, tasty and waste-free food
    Guidance note for the pilot project in San Marcos, Guatemala
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    Each year, the Guatemalan State invests about 1 869.2 million Quetzals (USD 245 million) in the national School Feeding Programme (PAE, by its acronym in Spanish), which feeds 2.4 million children. This research estimates that, by including gastronomy in the PAE, it is possible to prevent in a school year (180 days), the waste of 561.6 tonnes of food, equivalent to USD 864 000, or 0.35 percent of the invested budget. This food waste is partly due to children refusing to eat food that they do not find tasty. These data are derived from a small-scale, pre-and post-design pilot intervention in an educational institution in the Department of San Marcos, Guatemala, where the gastronomic quality of a school menu improved due to a back-up training provided by a professional chef for the PAE cooks. In order to identify whether there were differences before and after the intervention, a survey was applied to a sample of children aged 8 to 14, which resulted in an increase in acceptance (from 84 percent to 90 percent) and a decrease in food waste (by 1.3 grammes on average per child per day). Taking as a reference the cost of implementing a gastronomic laboratory in the Chilean PAE (0.017 percent of the total budget), and counterbalancing it with the resources corresponding to food waste in the PAE Guatemala (0.35 percent of the total budget), it appears clearly that investing in gastronomy is a useful mechanism to optimise the use of public resources invested in the PAE. For this reason, based on the findings of this study, it is highly advisable to incorporate gastronomic personnel into the PAE team, who can advise throughout the entire implementation chain.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Tasty and waste-free food – The alternative to improve the use of public resources in School Feeding Programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean
    Case studies in three countries
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    The inclusion of gastronomy in the School Feeding Programs (PAE) of Latin America and the The Caribbean is a way of strengthening these programs, by improving their efficiency through increase in acceptance and intake in menus and decrease in food waste. In this context and with the objective of guiding the countries of the region in the inclusion of gastronomy in their own PAE, this publication presents three case studies in Chile, Colombia and Guatemala. Taking into account the current COVID-19 pandemic context, this publication also includes a food safety guide intended to be applied in the different modalities of the SAPs as long as schools are back to normal. The guide is divided into three sections: 1) Planning the reopening, 2) Implementation of good practices that guarantee the application of the principles of food safety and reduce the spread of COVID-19 and 3) Monitoring actions and follow-up during reopening. These guidelines are a compilation of the evidence so far available that will serve as support in this great task of continuing with the vital delivery of food to the students.
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    Poster, banner
    اوقف الهدر... وفر الطعام
    تسع نصائح سهلة للحد من إهدار الطعام
    Food is wasted because we put too much food on our plates, we buy food and don‘t eat it before it goes off, restaurants or and school cafeterias serve portions that are too big, etc. This poster conveys key messages and tips to consumers - and in particular children - to reduce food waste.

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