Sustainability of Community-based School Feeding Initiatives in Mpwapwa District, Tanzania
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This study assessed the constraints to sustainability of community-based primary school meal initiatives. The study used a sample of 100 community members and 23 local government officials, teachers and school food committee members of Mpwapwa District, Tanzania. Mpwapwa District was a beneficiary of the school feeding project, which was implemented by the World Food Programme (WFP) from 2009 to 2015. Data were analysed by using simple descriptive statistics and thematic analysis. The findings show that primary schools in Mpwapwa did not continue the school feeding initiatives after the WFP school feeding project ended. Less than a quarter of about 117 schools continued to operate some form of school meals especially for classes undertaking national examinations. Community initiatives were fraught with challenges including inadequate food with limited dietary diversity, misconceptions about fee-free education system, economic hardship, limited involvement of teachers, and limited powers of and trust on school food committees. It was established that sustainability of community-based school feeding initiatives in Mpwapwa was uncertain. The study recommends the establishment of clear guidelines for a community-based school feeding programmes to promote contributions from parents and participation of teachers.