Research reveals $1 investment in school meals has impact of $5.2 in economy

Kathmandu, May 8

A research carried out by MasterCard has revealed that if $1 is invested for school meals of children, it will create an impact of $5.2 in the economy.

MasterCard had carried out a research in districts where the World Food Programme (WFP) has been conducting school meals programme.

When school children are provided school meals, their parents can save the money that would have been used for their tiffin and invest it in other income-generating activities. School meals also ensure nutrition for children. Enrolment of girls has also increased as the school meal programme has encouraged the girls to enrol in schools, as per the research report.

Currently, 251,000 school children have been benefiting from the school meals programme in 10 districts of mid- and far-west Nepal under the support of United States Department of Agriculture, according to Pippa Bradford, country director of WFP, Nepal mission.

The programme is being conducted in Achham, Bajhang, Bajura, Baitadi, Dedeldhura, Doti, Darchula, Rukum, Dailekh and Jajarkot districts. The research has recommended to include agriculture cooperatives to link local farmers with the school meal programme. Through this, local farmers and cooperatives could directly benefit and cost of school meals could also be brought down.