Story by Pep Bonet / NOOR for FAO
In Guatemala, about 46 percent of children under five suffer from chronic malnutrition.In 2017 a new national school-feeding law came into effect thanks to efforts by the Guatemalan Chapter of the Parliamentary Front against Hunger and the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), who worked with various partners and communities to develop and champion the law.
The school-feeding initiative promotes healthy diets and sources its food from local small-scale farmers, supporting vibrant rural economic growth. It also encourages parental and community involvement in improving the diets and eating habits of the entire community.
“Before this project started we had to queue for a long time to get food, and the meals or snacks were repetitive and not that healthy. Now they are more varied, more nutritious, and more delicious.”
Dulce María Díaz Pérez is a 12-year-old sixth-grade student in Tejutla, San Marcos, Guatemala, learning about sustainable farming, nutrition and more, through the backyard garden at her school. Dulce’s school garden is part of a nationwide nutrition-sensitive school feeding initiative which links schools, local family farmers and parents associations to provide nutritious and varied meals to school children across the country.