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Kenya’s New School Meal Plans

School meal plans operate in nearly every country in the world, reaching over 400 million children for about US$48 billion per year. In Ghana, a study found that the national school feeding programme led to a 14% improvement in literacy scores, 13% in mathematics, and 8% in reasoning ability for girls. Impact evaluations in Kenya over two decades ago revealed that supplementing animal source food contributed to children’s cognitive performance, weight gain and height gain. Another study found improvements in the iron status of schoolchildren in Kenya, with meals fortified with whole maize flour. As of 2018, Kenya’s home-grown school meal programme, launched in 2009, covered 1.5 million children in drought-affected lands. The meal programme helped learners stay in school, strengthened their physical and mental health outcomes and increased future financial security.