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.
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 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.