School feeding is the largest and most widespread social safety net in the world, benefitting 388 million children globally. However, a need for more evidence to back up claims can be expected as more development partners become engaged, and financing mechanisms are put into place.

The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT (ABC), CGIAR, recently led a session during the first School Meals Coalition (SMC) week to discuss how we can address this need.

Both globally and within Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), home grown school feeding (HGSF) has shown potential to simultaneously increase market opportunities and income for smallholder farmers while achieving nutrition-sensitive objectives and complementary interventions for communities, especially women and children. Yet, rigorous evidence for the impact of HGSF is still limited and good practices, lessons learned and valuable experiences from successes and failures have not been adequately assessed and analyzed. This presents an ongoing challenge for decision-making, policies and future design and implementation of HGSF and getting the model to scale. Thus, in an effort to share evidence for the impact of HGSF and discuss how to tackle its challenges, ABC organized and led a session titled “Ensuring school meals are more responsive to local markets, agrobiodiversity and climate”. 

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