School Feeding Beyond School

To encourage families not to neglect the education of children during the pandemic and to support their nutrition, UNICEF, together with its partners, distributes food kits and school materials in the most vulnerable communities.

UNICEF Venezuela
En una escuela al oeste de Caracas, padres retiran el kit de alimento y materiales escolares entregado por UNICEF.
UNICEF/UNI330104/Pocaterra
02 March 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the lives of children and adolescents forever. The prolonged closure of schools, due to the coronavirus, has left 137 million children in the world without receiving face-to-face education. In Venezuela, an estimated 6.8 million children have been affected. For every child and adolescent, every day that goes by without attending school can mean the risk of dropping out.


Given the new circumstances and challenges to keep children in school and encourage those who have left to return to school, UNICEF Venezuela together with its partners adjusted their response on the ground. Following biosafety protocols, it has deployed its teams in various regions of the country to provide children and adolescents with educational materials that facilitate their teaching at home, as well as bags of food to be prepared by their parents or caregivers. In this way, students continue to receive the same type of food that before the pandemic they ate in the school cafeteria.

Una de las madres recibe el kit de alimentos y materiales escolares para su hijo quien asiste a un centro educativo apoyado por UNICEF.
UNICEF/UNI330098/Pocaterra
One of the mothers receives the food kit and school supplies for her son who attends an educational center supported by UNICEF.
Equipo de UNICEF, junto a sus socios participa, en la distribución de kits de alimentos que se entregan mensualmente durante la contingencia del cierre de los comedores escolares debido a la pandemia.
UNICEF/UNI330665/Pocaterra
The UNICEF team, together with its partners, participates in the distribution of food kits that are delivered monthly during the contingency of the closure of school canteens due to the pandemic.

When children and adolescents cannot attend school, they are deprived of something more than their education, they lose their study routine and the space for socialization with their peers; In addition, many of them rely on school feeding programs for their only nutritious meal of the day. This program supported by UNICEF in Venezuela is an incentive for academic continuity and nutritional strengthening.

Lismaris Hernandez, cuyos hijo asiste a una escuela apoyada por UNICEF, asiste a retirar los kits de uno de ellos en una escuela al oesta de la ciudad de Caracas.
UNICEF/UNI330117/Pocaterra
Lismaris Hernandez, whose son attends a school supported by UNICEF, assists in removing the kits from one of them at a school west of the city of Caracas.
Lismaris Hernández, madre de 3 hijos, con personal de UNICEF durante la entrega de la comida y kit escolar entregado por UNICEF en el marco de la implementación de la iniciativa La Educación No Puede Esperar (ECW) en el Oeste de Caracas el 30 de abril de 2020.
UNICEF/UNI330117/Pocaterra
Lismaris Hernández, mother of 3 children, with UNICEF staff during the delivery of the food and school kit delivered by UNICEF as part of the implementation of the Education Cannot Wait (ECW) initiative in West Caracas.

Lismaris is one of the mothers who receive this support for her family. He comments that before the COVID-19 quarantine, his children attended a community soup kitchen in the west of Caracas; Now they cannot do it because the cafeteria is temporarily closed, but she has the support of the Education Cannot Wait program that UNICEF together with its partners operates to support families with children at risk of dropping out of school or out of school.

"I work cleaning the house of a family, but now because of the Coronavirus I am not going to work," says Lismaris while waiting his turn to remove the supplies.

Since the quarantine began in Venezuela, this mother, the only financial support in her home, has managed to promote her children's learning at home and ensure food.

“My children are underweight. This program (Education Cannot Wait) is a great help now that I can't go out to work. I am very happy for this support and I hope that soon my son will be able to go to school again ”, she comments moved.

Estudiantes retira el kit de alimento en su escuela ubicada a las afueras de la ciudad de Caracas. Esta iniciativa es parte del programa La educación no puede esperar que apunta a niños en riesgo de deserción escolar o que ya están fuera del sistema escolar, apoyándolos con seguimiento académico, aprendizaje comercial y alimentación escolar.
UNICEF/UNI371936/Cabral
Students pick up the food kit at their school located on the outskirts of the city of Caracas. This initiative is part of the Education Cannot Wait program that targets children at risk of dropping out of school or who are already out of the school system, supporting them with academic follow-up, business learning, and school feeding.
Fernando de 17 años retira su kit de alimento en su escuela donde también recibe de electricidad.
UNICEF/UNI371954/Cabral
17-year-old Fernando picks up his food kit at his school where he also receives electricity.

In some schools supported by UNICEF, adolescents who receive life skills classes are responsible for directly collecting the food kits on a monthly basis with their families.

Through its work and that of its partners, UNICEF Venezuela allows access and continuity of education for more than 555,000 children and adolescents in the country, including the indigenous population. Among the actions that are carried out, in addition to the door-to-door distribution of school supplies and food kits, are social-emotional support activities, distance education activities, school reintegration programs, training, and incentives to support the work of the teachers.

However, the pandemic continues and many Venezuelan children and adolescents require support for their education and nutrition. UNICEF continues to work tirelessly to reach those who need it most, which is why it appeals to the international community for USD $ 201.8 million to continue supporting Venezuelan children.