Public Procurement Research Group

Divided Plates: Unveiling Italy's Unequal School Food Policies


PPRG Director, Professor Annamaria La Chimia, has published a new article, "Divided Plates: Unveiling Italy's Unequal School Food Policies," co-authored with Celata and Lucciarini. The paper is published in Space and Polity and is now available open-access:

In this study, the authors delve into the regional disparities in school meal services across Italy, shedding light on the areas excluded from such provisions and reflecting on the implications of these exclusions.

Despite the documented benefits of school meals, the research reveals significant disparities in their availability and accessibility, perpetuating structural and institutional inequalities. We explain that the current policy and legislative framework, along with the financial instruments connected to that framework, are not only inadequate to address pre-existing territorial inequalities but also exacerbate them, widening the gap between more and less affluent regions and territories in Italy. We argue for the urgent need to address these issues, emphasizing the importance of equal access to school meals as a means of realizing the right to food, education, and gender equality.

The findings have broader implications beyond Italy, particularly for policymakers and academics in countries facing similar challenges with school food programs. We hope to stimulate further research and debate on closing the gaps in school meal provision worldwide.

This is the result of a long and complex interdisciplinary journey sponsored by the British Academic  [SRG1920\100904, Principal Investigator Annamaria La Chimia].

Posted on Tuesday 26th March 2024

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