School food global hub

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has a school meal programme managed by the Ministry of Education and National Reconciliation that targets pre and primary schoolchildren. The development of the menus is undertaken by the Nutrition Unit under the Ministry of Health, which are then compiled in a recipe book. As of 2020, there are no compulsory nutrition standards that define or regulate the types of foods that are provided and sold in and around schools.

Nutrition education is integrated within the national curriculum through the subjects of health and family life for primary school, and home economics (food and nutrition stream) for secondary school. 

School Food

School meals

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has a national school meal programme (known as the "School Feeding Programme") targeted at pre-primary and primary schoolchildren. As of 2022, the programme reaches 63 schools and is managed and mostly subsidized by the Ministry of Education and National Reconciliation with a small fee charged to parents. Schools also receive the support of the Ministry of Agriculture for gardens so that they can grow their own fruits and vegetables. Private entities provide breakfast in some schools.

The programme provides hot meals during lunchtime to children from public schools, five days a week. This follows a three-week cycle menu, with particular features during each weekday (e.g. "Meatless Mondays", "Turkey Tuesdays", "Soup Wednesdays", "Tasty Thursdays", etc.).

The development of the menus is undertaken by the Nutrition Unit under the Ministry of Health, which are then compiled in a recipe book. The menus are designed to supply approximately one-third of the students’ recommended dietary allowance (RDA) and to meet the preferences of the schoolchildren. Children are involved during the whole development process, from expressing their meal preferences to testing the recipes to make sure no food is wasted and all meals are acceptable, palatable and healthy.

Dry items for the meal preparation (lentils, chickpeas, red beans, rice, flour, pasta, noodles, milk, sugar) as well as kitchen appliances are provided monthly by the nutrition support programme from the Ministry of Health. Fresh foods (fruits, vegetables, fish, meat, ground provisions) are purchased by the school from local farmers. The Ministry of Education funds kitchen equipment such as fridges, freezers and crockery etc. The cooks are responsible for the adequate preparation of the school meals following the recipe book. In schools, one or two teachers are responsible for ensuring that all ingredients are available for meal preparation.

As of 2022, 20 schools have received eight days of certified theoretical and practical training from the Ministry of Education but the intention is to continue this training for the remaining schools with funding from new projects.

The Ministry of Education is responsible for monitoring the meal programme, with support from the Ministry of Health, in terms of menu compliance, food safety (such as sanitation conditions of the kitchens and correct clothing for cooks), and food wastage. This is done through occasional visits, completion of forms and collation of information from schools  to revise recipes. School reports are sent regularly to the Ministry, which compiles an annual report on the development of the programme.

At present, there are no specific nutrition standards that define or regulate the types of foods that are sold in and around schools in St Vincent and the Grenadines. The government is working on a school feeding policy and a child nutrition policy. It is also exploring how to regulate the competitive sale of unhealthy foods around school premises (e.g. through discussions with parent-teacher associations), which builds on an existing policy that restricts vendors from selling foods of low nutrition value within school grounds.

School-Based Food and Nutrition Education

In Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, nutrition education is integrated into the national curriculum through the subjects of health and family life and food and nutrition. 

Main targets

Primary and secondary schoolchildren

Main educatorsTeachers
Integration within the curriculum

Integrated through: 

  • core subject of health and family life in primary school  
  • the subject of home economics (food and nutrition stream) in secondary school
Learning objectives 

Health and family life

  • understand the importance of practising good eating habits (grade 3)
  • plan a balanced diet for a specific age group (grade 4)
  • demonstrate food preparation and preservation practices (grade 5)
  • explore the diversity of local foods (grade 6)

Home economics

  • develop knowledge, skills and attitudes that will enable students to pursue post-secondary studies, future careers and work associated with food, nutrition and health;
  • develop foundational competencies for the effective management of the interrelationships among nutritional needs, healthy lifestyle practices and the environment;
  • provide opportunities for the development of behaviours for active involvement in the health and well-being of the home, community and workplace;
  • equip students with critical thinking, design, analytical and problem-solving skills through authentic learning experiences.



The Curriculum Development Unit, under the Ministry of Education and National Reconciliation, is the main entity that develops the school curriculum, including the contents related to nutrition education. The Nutrition Unit under the Ministry of Health provides technical inputs to learning and teaching materials.



Teachers are the main implementers of nutrition education activities in the country. 

The main topics addressed include:

  • Food-based dietary guidelines (primary)
  • Local foods and food preparation (primary)
  • Diet and Health (secondary)
  • Nutrition and Health (secondary)
  • Meal Planning Preparation and Dining (secondary)
  • Food, Science and Technology (secondary)
  • Kitchen Design and Equipment Management (secondary)
  • Consumerism and Purchasing of Food (secondary)
  • Food Management, Preparation and Service (secondary)

There are various learning materials that have been designed primarily for primary schoolchildren to have additional information and facts on the national food-based dietary guidelines. These include an activity book, comic book and colouring book. 

Monitoring and Evaluation

Learning objectives for nutrition education are assessed as part of the subject where they are integrated. In secondary schools, the food and nutrition stream is assessed by a written examination.

Relevant links


A cooking training session for school foodservice staff in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.


Sixteen cooks, drawn from eight primary schools in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), will from February 16th – March 10th, 2022, participate in specialized training in food preparation and handling.