National School Lunch Nutrition and Cost Profile: A Case Study of the Ghana School Feeding Programme

Peter D Goldsmith, Juan Andrade, Margaret Cornelius, Mawuli Asigbee, Philip Atim, Courtney Tamimie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Numerous governments in developing countries institute school lunch programs or school feeding programs as a strategy to address high malnutrition and low education rates among children. In 2005, the Ghanaian government launched the Ghana School Feeding Programme (GSFP). The GSFP policy does not document (1) the actual meal and associated nutrient profile received by the student, (2) the cost of the meal ingredients to the caterer who prepares the food, nor (3) the recipe derivations that may supply an enhanced nutritional profile. We address these 3 information gaps by employing a detailed case study of 4 caterers supplying a traditional tomato stew recipe in northern Ghana within GSFP-supported school lunch programs. Specifically, we explore the following propositions: (1) GSFP caterers can deliver a school lunch for under 100 pesewas (1 GH¢ or $0.21 USD) per student; (2) the meal meets the recommended daily allowance for protein; (3) soy can serve as a cost-effective ingredient to fortify the meal in terms of protein level and protein quality; and (4) significant differences exist in the macro- and micronutrient profile due to caterer discretion. We answer the above 4 propositions, and by doing so show the importance of accurately measuring the nutritional content, costs, and quantities of the actual school lunch under study. Second, among our results, we show the economy of locally produced soy flour as an ingredient that can lower costs and raise nutrition when substituting for other locally produced proteins such as ground beef and mackerel.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-55
Number of pages15
JournalFood and Nutrition Bulletin
Issue number1
Early online dateFeb 8 2019
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019


  • cost
  • fortification
  • nutrition
  • protein
  • school lunch
  • soy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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