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Coffee with the School Meal, Health in Schools [Café na Merenda, Saúde na Escola]

Based on the scientific determination that coffee increases intellectual ability and attention, increasing the absorption of ideas, ABIC launched in 2007 the “Café na Merenda, Saúde na Escola” Project, a joint action with the industries to offer coffee and milk to public and private schools to students between 6 and 18 years old. A pioneer experience with the purpose of improving children and teenagers’ performance in the classroom.

To verify the benefits and results obtained with the program implementation, a scientific evaluation is performed before “Café na Merenda” is introduced in a school,  addressing, through a questionnaire, the consumption of coffee with milk, children’s school performance and how happy students are. When the program arrives at the end, this same evaluation is done a second time and the two results are compared.

In addition to offering coffee and milk with the school meal, the project envisages a series of activities to expand integration between industry and community, awakening the critical and constructive awareness and opinion maker about coffee as a product and, consequently, educating towards consumption and aiming school, student and community involvement.

The project brings a large contribution of coffee industries to schools all over Brazil, since in addition to the social aspect, represented by an improvement in the nutritional value of school meals and learning, the program contributes also in the pedagogic side, showing to students the importance of coffee in Brazilian history. Furthermore, the program aims at reviving the healthy habit of coffee and milk consumption and to form new consumers.

Main objectives

  • To improve the nutritional value of school meals
  • To develop healthy food habits
  • To disseminate the benefits of coffee to intellectual activities, school learning and in preventing diseases
  • To perform scientific research correlating coffee and milk consumption with school learning improvement
  • To contribute to form future consumers

Scientific Results

Sample
5,251 benefitted children

Region
6 Brazilian states, in the cities of: Uberlândia; Juiz de Fora; Cuiabá; Campinas;  Araçariguama; Bom Jesus; Guaíba and Eusébio

 

Questionnaire

  •  Coffee consumption – 80% of the children drink coffee irrespectively of their region and 9 and 10 year old children are the ones that consume more coffee and milk (34%).
  • Where consumed – 15% said they drink it at home; 37% said in school, and 48% in both places
  • How frequently – 50% said they drink coffee once a day, and 27% said they drink it twice a day.
  • Mood – After they drink coffee, 49% say they feel splendid, 37% say they feel very good , and 10% say they feel good.
  • Aroma and flavour – 45% answered “excellent”; 26% answered “very good”; 23% answered “good; 5% answered “regular”; and 1% answered “bad”.
  • Focus and concentration – 67% said they had improved their focus and concentration while studying
  • Performance in school – 63% said they obtained better marks.

 

Pedagogic activities

Drawing and Writing Contest with the theme “Japanese Immigrants in Coffee Plantations”,  at the occasion of the 100th Year of Japanese Immigration to Brazil commemorations. The purpose was to improve students’ knowledge of coffee plantations and the importance of the product for the economic development of Brazil.

Distribution of the book “Café é Genial” [“Coffee is Great”] – a book for children and young people, an easy to read cheerful and colourful book that is part of ABIC’s  promotional actions aimed at reviving the healthful habit of coffee and milk, to disseminate the history of coffee and its benefits to health.

Distribution of the Super-Coffee Booklet  [“Cartilha Super Café”], prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply (MAPA) in which the mascot SUPER COFEEE tells the history of the product,  its economic importance for Brazil and its benefits to health.  The booklet shows the qualities of coffee, which is considered a beverage that stimulates concentration, memory and learning, especially of students.

Talks about Food and Healthy Life Habits – Delivered by a nutritionist, the talks aim at raising the awareness of children, parents and teachers about the importance of changing some food habits and to show that this attitude can improve school performance, increase children’s willingness to study and their concentration, in addition to taking advantage of the benefits brought by eating food that is rich in nutrients and vitamins.