Vegan School Lunch

Vegan Festival

About the Vegan School Lunch

We launched the Vegan school lunch project in May 2023. This project focuses on making school lunches in selected schools healthy, affordable and plantbased. We use humane education to sensitise school leaders and school going children on why it is important to make conscious choices that have positive impacts on the world around them.

Through humane education we educate them about the positive impacts of animal welfare, environmental sustainability, social justice, and human rights .

Veganizing school lunches can help ensure that students with dietary restrictions, including those who are lactose intolerant or have food allergies, have access to nutritious meals. This promotes inclusivity and helps create a welcoming environment for all school going children.

Our vegan school lunch project seeks to create a generation of young people who are more conscious of their food choices and the impact they have on their health, the environment, and animals, a strategy that has a long-term impact on reducing meat consumption and promoting veganism.

Why Veganize school lunch

  1. Animal compassion: We talk to school going children and the school leadership about ethical concerns revolving around the treatment of animals. To promote compassion towards these animals, there is a need to opt for plant-based meals as a compassionate food choice.
  2. Health benefits: We sensitize the school leadership, parents, teachers associations and children about the health benefits of a plant-based diet including reduced risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and certain types of cancers. Introducing plant-based options in school lunches can provide children with healthier options and help them develop healthy eating habits early on. Vegan diets have been shown to be beneficial for human health. By introducing plant-based meals in school lunches, students can learn about and enjoy the benefits of a healthy, and balanced diet
  3. Environment: Several education institutions are interested in environmental impact related topics, so ensure to equip them with enough knowledge on how Animal agriculture is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental problems. By promoting plant-based options in school lunches, they can help reduce the environmental impact of the food system and promote sustainable eating habits. Animal agriculture affects the environment include;
    • Greenhouse gas emissions: Livestock is responsible for around 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. This is due to the methane emissions from livestock, which has a much higher global warming potential than carbon dioxide.
    • Land use and deforestation: Animal agriculture requires vast amounts of land for grazing and feed production, leading to deforestation and habitat destruction. The expansion of animal agriculture also leads to the loss of biodiversity and the extinction of species.
    • Water use and pollution: Animal agriculture is a significant user of water resources, with large amounts of water required for livestock production and processing. Animal waste can also contaminate water sources, leading to pollution and health problems.
    • Soil degradation: Animal agriculture can lead to soil degradation through overgrazing, erosion, and the use of fertilizers and pesticides.
    • Antibiotic resistance: The use of antibiotics in animal agriculture can contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which can pose a threat to human health.

School feeding overview in Uganda

Currently upto eight million children attend school in Uganda, however the largest proportion go hungry, with only 33% of the children receiving meals at school.

According to Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS-2014), 66% of learners at primary level were not feeding at school.

In 2013, government designed the school feeding and nutrition guidelines to improve child health, nutrition and educational performance, however many schools are still unable to implement them.

Only 33% of children receive a meal while at school, and urban children are more likely to receive feeding than their rural counterparts. Negative attitude from some parents, changing weather patterns, inadequate storage facilities at school, and laxity of School Management Committees are hindering the effective implementation of parent-led school feeding initiatives. There is no linkage between school feeding and agriculture sector production programmes.

Education Act of 2008. Under this law, the government provides inputs through capitation grant allocations to schools, instructional materials, and infrastructural support. On the other hand, provision of food is one of the responsibilities left to parents and school communities.

School feeding modalities include; cash contribution for school food, food item contribution in kind by parents and home packed meals. Home-packed meals have been the government’s recommended and promoted school feeding modality, especially for rural schools that register 80% of the estimated 7.9 million learners in primary education. However, this recommendation has had minimal success because of a number of factors, ranging from lack of food and packing materials at the household

Not feeding a child at school is a violation of their rights under the United Nations Declarations on the Rights of the Child, and other international protocols and conventions to which Uganda is signatory.

Food systems sustainability

Food systems sustainability in schools refers to the practice of creating sustainable and resilient food systems within the school environment, all our current approaches are centered around affordability and accessibility ie what lunch are they having? Is it sustainable? Can they sustain plantbased dishes? What does it take? Do they need training on growing their own food etc

We are currently engaging partner schools on how to develop policies, programs, and practices that support the production, procurement, and consumption of healthy and sustainable plantbased foods within the school setting.