Teachers Play a Vital Role in Keeping Kids Fed and Healthy Around the World. Meet Six of These Heroes.

Photo: WFP/Bart Verweij
World Food Program USA
Published May 3, 2021
Last Updated May 2, 2022

Hooray for teachers!

May 3rd marks National Teacher Appreciation Day. While we think committed educators around the world deserve our appreciation all year long, we’re celebrating them a little extra today.

These humble heroes do so much more than educate minds young and old. They offer guidance, friendship, socialization – and in the most difficult places, even structure, comfort and food. Teachers go above and beyond – especially in countries where the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) works.

Let’s visit a few of them:



A teacher smiles, standing with four young students.

Rous teaches these young ones at the Happy Tap at Angserey Primary School in Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia. In 2021, Happy Tap students like these four received U.N. World Food Programme school meals as part of our global school feeding program. That daily nutrition helps them fill up and focus on Rous’ lessons. We’re working with schools across Cambodia to help fight malnutrition around the country.


A teacher stands in front of a classroom of students, reading from a book.

U.N. World Food Programme school meals keep kids in classrooms across Nepal, too.

In 2017, Nanda Kumari Saud was working a teacher at Shree Janajyoti Lower Secondary School. Our school meals kept her nourished when she was a child herself. She said becoming a teacher in her village – where she was economically empowered and able to support both her students and her own children – brings her great joy.

School meals are a powerful incentive for struggling parents to send their children to school and to keep them there, learning from teachers like Nanda.

Democratic Republic of Congo


woman standing at chalkboard in classroom smiling
Photo: WFP/Arete/Fredrik Lerneryd/2021

Adults need teachers too! This enthusiastic U.N. World Food Programme tutor (in orange) helped Furaha, a shop-owner in Kahseke, DRC, learn how to read. With her new skills, she was able to serve as president of her village savings group and better manage the profits from her small business.


schoolgirls eating meals at table

Many of our school meals programs serve double duty by giving schoolchildren the nutritious meals they need while sourcing food from local farmers. At the Morakhola Government Primary School in Bangladesh, vegetables for these girls’ school meals were bought from female farmers nearby.

South Sudan

A teacher holds a young baby while standing in front of a classroom full of students.

Aren’t teachers the best multitaskers in the world? This instructor at an orphanage in Juba proved they just might be. As she instructed – and cared for – these young minds, we were busy providing around 2,500 meals a day to hungry kids at her school.


A teacher in a white coat stands in front of a classroom of students in green uniforms.

In 2020, Efrem showed up every day to teach this gaggle of schoolgirls and boys at the ARRA primary school in Sheder refugee camp in Ethiopia. By the time they get to camp schools, refugee kids have often experienced some of the most devastating hardships imaginable. Teachers in the camps are the heroes that provide some consistency and normalcy to young ones who’ve lost so much.

Teachers are the guardians and caretakers of young and adult minds all over the world. We’re so grateful for their commitment to seeing their students learn and grow.

The U.N. World Food Programme has their back, providing millions of school meals worldwide to reduce malnutrition, promote healthy development and keep children focused and learning from their wonderful teachers.

Learn more about our school feeding program here.