Continuing to Deliver Nutrition to School Children During COVID-19
The closure of schools around the world due to COVID-19 risks having a major impact on the health and nutrition of school children. Key global stakeholders such as WFP (World Food Programme), FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), and GCNF (Global Child Nutrition Foundation) are actively advocating Governments to continue providing nutrition to children despite school closures.
“Our priority focus is to work in collaboration with customers and stakeholders to ensure the food supply chain is maintained. We are therefore in contact with relevant organisations and stakeholders, both locally and regionally, to share innovative solutions and best practices being used in school feeding programs (SFP) around the world” says Rafael Fábrega, Food for Development Director at Tetra Laval. In China, for example, Tetra Pak has been actively working with customers, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Agriculture, and the Dairy Association of China to ensure delivery of school milk and feeding continues to children at home.
To make this happen there are two methods in place where parents can pick-up the milk from the schools, and they also have “on-line orders” and “non-contact delivery” to facilitate the ordering and distribution of school milk to students´ homes. The students’ general information is submitted such as: ID, school, class, and parents´ contact number. The delivery person stores the milk in designated storage cabinets and provides a password by mobile. With the password, the cabinet can be opened and milk collected. The receiver and delivery person has no face-to-face handover.
1,892 miles away in Japan, the School Feeding Programme food service operators are offering “take-away” meals at marked-down prices to support families, as most schools across the country, which normally provide lunches, remain closed until April.
The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) is encouraging flexibility in providing breakfast and lunch to students off-site using a drive through "grab and go" meals system as well as home delivery.
In the Dominican Republic the government has mandated that students continue to get their meals. The INABIE (National Institute of Student Welfare) established a mechanism so that the families of the students can pick up their school milk from their educational centers on a scheduled basis.
For over 57 years, Tetra Pak has been working closely with governments, customers and international agencies all around the world to support practical implementation of school feeding programmes.