Healthy and well-nourished school children learn better. Ensuring that girls and boys stay in school and are healthy and ready to learn allows them to fully achieve their potential as adults. Very simply: sick or undernourished children cannot attend school and hungry children cannot learn.
School Feeding programmes can help get children into school and help them stay there. They provide children with safe and nutritious food, encouraging dietary diversity and healthy eating habits. When purchased locally from smallholder farmers ("Home Grown School Feeding"), programmes maximize benefits for students and local communities, by integrating smallholder farmers into food supply chains and generating profit for local economies.
PLUS is being piloted in several WFP country offices since mid-2019. Initial results from Bhutan show that PLUS can help make substantial savings. Thanks to the calculations being done through the algorithm instead of the traditional manual elaboration, PLUS obtained a menu 31% less costly than the one currently being implemented, while maintaining the nutritional value and increasing the amount of locally sourced food. Those potential savings could be used to increase the number of children in the programme, substantially improve the nutritional value of meals or boost investments in local agricultural production.
While two additional selected countries undergo piloting of the tool, staff from more than 25 Country Offices and all 6 Regional Bureaux have requested to be part of the piloting and implementation of PLUS.