With this Handbook, our aims are to provide a unique insight into the many positive benefits that school feeding programmes are bringing to children and communities worldwide and how they have played a key role in improving health and education for school children. We also share many examples of school feeding programmes with impact data and best practices when it comes to organisation and implementation of these programmes. Quite often these programmes also result in local agriculture development, where we support small holder farmers with access to market.
The first school milk programme using Tetra Pak packages was introduced in Mexico in 1962 in collaboration with the National System for Integral Family Development and is still reaching millions of children today. However, our involvement with developing global school feeding and nutrition programmes began even earlier than that, in 1951. Both Tetra Pak and Tetra Laval Food for Development continue to play a significant role in the field, actively supporting our customers and working in collaboration with governments, UN agencies, and NGOs. We regularly share global best practice and provide technical assistance in the evaluation and implementation of school feeding programmes, food safety and quality controls, product development, distribution, and environmental education activities in schools.
Through our global experiences, we have seen how effective sustainable school feeding programmes can be in improving nutrition and education for vulnerable groups.
Today, the growing global population faces many challenges, including hunger, food insecurity, malnutrition and inefficient agriculture. We believe the most effective way to tackle global challenges related to food security and nutrition is to build sustainable food value chains, working in partnership with our stakeholders. Partnership and collaboration is absolutely key to our approach, and to ensuring that programmes are sustainable and continue to improve health and education for vulnerable children over the long term.
According to the United Nations (UN), the global population is set to rise to more than 9,8 billion by 2050. This is already creating significant challenges in the form of hunger, food insecurity, malnutrition and inefficient agriculture. Currently, some 821 million people are chronically undernourished and, in order to feed the world in 2050, overall food production must increase by an estimated 50%.
School feeding programmes can play a very important role in addressing such challenges. As well as being a proven means of improving health and promoting better educational outcomes, these programmes are helping to support the development of sustainable food value chains and reducing food losses and food waste. As such, they are making a major contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Currently, more than 418 million children in 176 countries receive food in their schools, mostly through government budgets. Milk is served in 62 countries reaching 160 million children, either as a part of a school feeding programme or as a separate school milk programme. School feeding is a good investment. Efficient programmes yield returns of up to US$9 for every US$1 invested, creating value across multiple sectors including education, health and nutrition, social protection and local agriculture.
Tetra Pak has demonstrated the value to society and individuals of participation in school feeding and nutrition programmes since 1962, when the first school milk programme using Tetra Pak packages was introduced. Globally, 66 million children in 44 countries received milk or other nutritious beverages in Tetra Pak packages in their schools in 2022.