Delegates from IIRR and the Philippines Department of Education participated in the 23rd Annual GCNF (Global Child Nutrition Forum) in Benin, in October 2022. Held within the FRESH (Fruits and Vegetables for Sustainable Healthy Diets), in collaboration with the Alliance: Bioversity & CIAT (CGIAR organizations), the theme of the event was “Convergence of Forces for Resilience and Sustainability of School Feeding Programs Worldwide.” The delegation from the Philippines organized a side event – FRESH workshop – which was included in the final report of the GCNF Forum.
In summarizing the workshop titled “Nourishing Children through the Promotion of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables in Schools: Experience Sharing From Benin and the Philippines”, the report states:
“It can be challenging to include a variety of fruits and vegetables into school meals, as they are perishable, costly, and must be locally sourced. This session discussed opportunities to better incorporate fresh fruit and vegetables in school meals, including the role of local farmers, communities, and the potential of school gardens and nutrition education that targets both children and parents. The workshop used examples from Benin and the Philippines and heard from program implementers and schoolteachers. It also highlighted the important role of creating healthy school food environments that can address barriers to fresh fruit and vegetable consumption.” – Moses Ekwueme/GCNF
Presenters at the workshop included:
- Malick Niango Ba, Regional Director, World Vegetable Center – West and Central Africa, based in Benin
- Judith Honfoga Faton, Research Assistant Agronomy – Integrated School Feeding Approach Developer, World Vegetable Center – West and Central Africa, based in Benin
- Irene Mitchodigni Houndo, Nutritionist – Integrated School Feeding Approach Developer, World Vegetable Center – West and Central Africa, based in Benin
- Rolando Talon Jr, Education Program Specialist, Philippines Department of Education
- Lope Santos III, Director for School Nutrition Programs, Philippines Department of Education
- Shiela Santos Anunciado, Program Manager, International Institute of Rural Reconstruction, Philippines
View the full report here.