Michael Bamberger has provided a case of unintended consequences: How a school breakfast program became a community nutrition program

A school breakfast program was organized in a food insecure rural area of Nicaragua to increase school enrollment.  In some schools teachers also gave food to younger siblings who came when mothers were bringing students to school.  The word was passed to other mothers and as the number of siblings increased some teachers gave all siblings breakfast and others did not.  The decision depended not only on the attitude of each teacher but also on the willingness of mothers to help prepare the breakfasts and local farmers to donate more food.  In some communities these behavioral responses transformed the school breakfast program into a major nutrition program involving mobilization of food from local farmers, men helping transport large quantities of food, building school kitchens and in some cases installing electric power in the classrooms, while mothers organized the breakfasts and sometimes started school vegetable gardens.  The final outcomes in each school and the lessons learned could only be determined by close observation of the behavior of teachers, parents and the communities and seemed to vary depending on individual attitudes,  local economic conditions and sometimes ethnicity.

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