Bishkek Primary School Children Will Improve Their Nutrition Knowledge During The WFP-Supported Healthy Eating Week

UNCT-KG-WFP-healthy week

On the kick-off of the new academic year, the UN World Food Programme, Bishkek City Hall and the Russian Social and Industrial Foodservice Institute (SIFI) today launched the Healthy Eating Week in the capital school #64.

The weeklong initiative include sessions on healthy food and active life-style as well as art master-classes and sports activities aiming to promote healthy eating and hygiene skills among children and their parents.

The Healthy Eating Week also focuses on helping children to explore international cuisine and culinary traditions of the world while learning about food diversity, food safety and food utilization. During the Healthy Eating Week, primary school children would taste the traditional meals of Russian Federation, Brazil, Japan, Italy and Tajikistan, all cooked in their school canteen.

“Through interactive, simple, fun but educational activities, we can help Kyrgyz children acquire lifelong healthy eating habits through school meals, which is a foundation for their strong health and development,” said WFP Kyrgyz Republic Country Director Andrea Bagnoli. “We are proud to be supporting the efforts of the Bishkek City Hall to improve the quality of school meals in Bishkek schools and set a path to educate new healthy generations.”

The Healthy Eating Week would also feature an artistic competition among the primary school children, who will master their drawing skills to produce paintings that portray their views on healthy eating and nutrition for education. WFP would reward the best paintings with valuable prizes.

The Healthy Eating Week is being arranged in the city gymnasium school #64, the first city school to pilot the improved models of school meals. Thanks to the pilot school, more than 1,200 primary school students are enjoying freshly cooked hot meals every day.

WFP partnered with Ministry of Education, city administration and SIFI to design the efficient school meals models for city schools. With funding from the Russian Federation, WFP procured high-capacity industrial kitchen equipment for preparation of hot school meals and supported the infrastructural improvements.

In addition, WFP and the Bishkek City Hall with support from SIFI are working on a plan to improve meals in city schools to enable an upgrade to high-quality nutritious meals. This will be done using funds that Bishkek municipality has allocated for the project.

WFP launched a project in 2013 to introduce a model school meals programme to boost the country’s national school meals programme that benefits around 400,000 primary school children. First year the project reached a little over 10,000 students and now over 90,000 primary school students in 334 rural schools across the country benefit from daily nutritious lunches. This achievement was possible thanks to consistent financial support from the Russian Federation, which contributed US$12 million to help improve the national school meals programme.