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World Food Programme and Thai Union School Meals Impact Study Starts to Yield Results


 One year after the United Nations (UN) World Food Programme (WFP) launched a study to model the impact of a planned universal national school meals program on the economy in Kenya, important information derived from data collection has been processed and is currently being analyzed.

The study, which is being conducted with support from Thai Union Group PCL. (the Dow Jones Sustainability Index 2018 No. 1 rated company in the food products industry) and in collaboration with the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) Agricultural and Resource Economics Department, aspires to demonstrate the potential local and national economic impact of a national program providing daily lunch to all 8.9 million children in public primary schools.

Utilization of data from more than 2,000 schools, traders, businesses, farmers and households, makes it possible to estimate the returns generated by every dollar invested in a national school meals program, based on the procurement of local food products.

Preliminary results will be announced in 2019 and should provide valuable insights to the Kenyan government about its plan for a universal lunch program that feeds all schoolchildren in Kenya. This project could show an ability to dramatically improve the nutrition of schoolchildren while boosting local economies with one single policy.

Additionally, demonstrable success will pave the way for similar initiatives on a global level in both developed and developing nations.

Thai Union’s support of WFP and the home-grown school meals program in Kenya is in line with the company’s work to deliver against the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through its sustainability strategy, SeaChange®, including SDG 2, Zero Hunger, and SDG 8, Decent Work and Economic Growth.

“We are proud to be a part of this study linking nutrition to education and enhancing children’s lives. The importance of this study validates what we already know, children need good food in order to learn and this in turn will change their lives and give them greater options,” said Whitney Small, Global Director of Corporate Communications at Thai Union.

To watch a series of short videos from participants involved with the study, visit this list on Thai Union’s YouTube channel here.

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