School food global hub

Jordan collaborates with various partners nationwide, including the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Jordanian Armed Forces, to provide breakfast meals to schoolchildren from pre-primary to grade six.

School Food

School meals

Jordan has two distinct school meal programmes, collectively covering a total of 520 000 schoolchildren spanning pre-primary to sixth grade across different governorates. The programmes extend their reach to diverse areas, encompassing poverty pockets and Syrian refugee camps. The main entities leading the development and implementation of such programmes include the Ministry of Education, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Jordanian Armed Forces. Additionally, other entities such as the Jordan Food and Drug Administration (JFDA) and the Royal Health Awareness Society are involved. These two meal programmes provide a breakfast meal through:

  • The Healthy Meal model reaches 90 000 students from 470 schools, providing a pastry filled with local ingredients (e.g., cheese, vegetables, thyme with olive oil) four days a week, along with an apple or banana and a cucumber sourced from certified farmers. These meals provide approximately 380 kcal. Additionally, on the fifth day, each student receives two biscuits stuffed with dates. The sorting and packaging of these meals involve more than 250 women working in local production kitchens which were established inside cooperatives within the community.
  • The Biscuit model reaches 405 000 students across 1883 schools. It consists of a locally produced biscuit filled with dates, which is fortified with vitamins & minerals, with a portion of around 80 g/day per student providing approximately 344 kcal or a high-protein biscuit produced by the Jordanian Armed Forces.

To complement the Healthy Meal model, the World Food Programme and the Ministry of Education implement behaviour change interventions to encourage healthy eating habits among schoolchildren and their parents. In the  2023-2024 academic year,  these initiatives will extend to 150 schools, incorporating educational materials, interactive activities and messages on nutrition to raise awareness among parents.

At the start of the school year, an implementation plan developed by the Ministry of Education is distributed to all targeted schools. Food handlers receive training from the World Food Programme on food safety and production procedures, with kitchens required to adhere to regulations set by the Jordan Food and Drug Administration (JFDA) and WFP.

In 2023, the World Food Programme conducted an impact evaluation study with the World Bank to measure the impact of the Healthy Model on students and women kitchen workers. The results are expected to be published by the beginning of 2024.

The National school meal programme also impacts women of the local community where job opportunities are provided, as well as local small-scale bakeries and small-holder farmers.

Main challenges

The funding situation is the main challenge to deliver a successful and effective National program, WFP is working closely with the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders to look into domestic financing options through the government and other partners.

Future plans:

  • Increase the number of students who are benefiting from the healthy meal model while decreasing the biscuits model caseload.
  • Build the capacity of MoE through implementing the technical assistance agreement (2023-2027), this will help the Ministry on both the financing and the implementation sides.

Relevant documents:


School-Based Food and Nutrition Education