Water safety and quality and school feeding: approaches in Latin America and the Caribbean

Mucinhato et al.


Identify approaches to water safety and quality in documents describing school feeding programs in Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries.


Descriptive, cross-sectional, exploratory study of documents on school feeding in LAC countries and territories. A documentary analysis was carried out and four initial categories were determined: “water for consumption”, “water for hygiene”, “water for food preparation”, and “local/family agriculture”, according to the use of water in school feeding programs. Documents were identified in 2018 and 2019 on the official websites of LAC countries and territories, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, and the World Food Programme. Absolute and relative frequencies were obtained for quantitative data; thematic content analysis was applied to qualitative data.


Of the 114 documents analyzed, 29 were eligible. In the categories “water for consumption”, “water for hygiene” and “water for food preparation”, the only characteristic attributed to water was that it be potable. In the category “local/family farming”, no approaches were found that addressed water for irrigation.


The documents address water, but do not focus on its safety and quality. Governments and local authorities should review their documents and ensure that their approaches are mutually coherent and based on intersectoral support and dialogue to achieve the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals.

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