Mesoamerica Hunger Free AMEXCID-FAO

Belize

Schools are an ideal setting to promote healthy nutritional habits from an early age and with life-long impacts. At the same time, schools offer feasible opportunities for family farmers to access local markets, contributing to the improvement of national production and local food consumption. 

In this sense, in Belize, “Mesoamerica Hunger Free AMEXCID-FAO” has centered its efforts on the implementation of a school feeding program following the “Sustainable Schools” model. The Programme has contributed to the implementation of a pilot experience to validate the Model in four primary education centers of the communities of Pueblo Viejo, Santa Elena, Santa Cruz and San Antonio, in the Toledo district. 

The implementation of the Model goes beyond providing healthy and nutritious meals to children who live in poverty and vulnerable conditions, since it also focuses on the analysis of the nutritional status of students, the participation of the school community, the implementation of pedagogical school gardens, and the purchase of products directly from family farmers. Additionally, it includes infrastructural adaptations for bettering the reception, storage, preparation and consumption of food. Additionally, this Model. 

Some of the results achieved and the actions that “Mesoamerica Hunger Free AMEXCID-FAO” supports in Belize are the following:

 

  • Elaboration of a Nutritional plan based on the analysis of the nutritional status of the students and mapping of local production supply.
  • Training teachers, parents and students on the preparation and consumption of healthy food, and on the establishment of school gardens.
  • Design and validation of a mechanism to buy products from local family farmers.
  • Strengthening capacities of family farmers regarding quality, quantity and safety of food.
  • Creation of a National Sustainable School Feeding Technical Monitoring Committee in order to institutionalize the “Sustainable Schools” model of school feeding.
  • Design of a national menu for the School Feeding Program.
  • Systematizing the implementation of the pilot “Sustainable Schools” model in order to expand it to other regions.
  • Establishment of Belize Parliamentary Alliance against Hunger and Malnutrition.