Virtual Environmental and Humanitarian Adviser Tool – (VEHA Tool) is a tool
to easily integrate environmental considerations in humanitarian response. Field Implementation guidances are useful for the design and execution of humanitarian activities in the field.

back to activity

VEHA - Field Implementation Guidance

Food Security
School feeding
Delivery of take-home rations at schools

Delivery of take-home rations at schools


Environmental factors causing/contributing to the needs and affecting the humanitarian activity

In the long term, school feeding programmes can be designed to contribute to reducing the impacts of climate change through environmentally sensitive food systems (State of School Feeding Worldwide 2020).

Home-grown school feeding programmes, where food is purchased from local farmers, also help mitigate climate change as they shorten food chains and minimize food waste, the largest single preventable cause of carbon emissions.

Gender, age, disability and HIV/AIDS implications

Take-home rations cannot be sized only to meet the food requirements of the individual child. For assurance that the children will receive sufficient food, the rations should cater to the whole family.


Environmental impact categories

Air pollution
Soil pollution
Water pollution
Natural resource depletion

Summary of Impacts
Summary of potential environmental impacts

Environmental benefits from reducing waste, increasing health and resilience
Potential benefits from reducing food miles
Production of solid and organic waste
Soil and water pollution from food waste and food packaging
Air pollution from transportation of food

Impact detail
Detailed potential environmental impact information

Cooked meal food and food ration distributions can have a range of environmental impacts including solid waste pollution from packaging, containers, and utensils; food waste leading, creating disease vectors/health risks and damage to proximate ecosystems; and vehicle distribution emissions.

They can also have a number of potential environmental benefits including reduced greenhouse gas emissions through reduced food miles if food is grown and distributed locally. Local production can also reduce the amount of organic waste as food is more likely to be locally acceptable, and reduce the amount of solid waste and emissions as less packaging and less food preservation such as refrigeration or warehouse storage is required.


Summary of suggested environmental activities

Use community-led planning tools to improve school feeding programme and take-home rations’ quality and sustainability. Involve Parent / Teacher associations and School Management committees from programme design to delivery.

Support local smallholder farmers in the production of biodiverse foods and link them to school-feeding programmes.

Detailed guidance for implementing suggested environmental activities

Community-led planning tools positively affect programme implementation. Training, capacity building, and planning for a child-friendly learning environment enhance programme ownership and facilitate a smoother transition to government and community counterparts. Note and plan for the fact that children not attending school will not access these distributions; plan outreach mechanisms for these children.

The food basket should be tailored based on nutritional objectives, fortification requirements, and whether the food can be locally produced. In several cases, the first step towards a successful transition to government ownership is a locally procured food basket. Transitioning to local procurement benefits the transport industry, small businesses and processing plants, small farmer cooperatives, and women’s groups.

Lessons Learnt
Lessons from past experiences

WFP was awarded the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize in part because of the role of its school feeding programmes in supporting national resilience to conflict and emergencies. WFP envisions a future where environmentally sensitive school feeding programmes, which engage effectively with agriculture and the environment, make a major contribution to creating more resilient, new-generation approaches to public food and education systems.

Activity Measurement
Environmental indicators/monitoring examples

Number of households supported with sustainably sourced food rations.

Activity Status
Main Focus
Focus of suggested activities

Prevention of environmental damage

Resource implications (physical assets, time, effort)

This requires close collaboration with the livelihoods approach and planning towards a long-term sustainable vision. This could be done with livelihood programming

to top
icon-menu icon-close icon-account icon-arrow icon-down icon-back icon-pointed-arrow icon-left icon-up icon-bookmark icon-share twitter facebook2 printer envelope icon-close-alt icon-top icon-loading icons / login