Fostering Well-Being through Food Education: Evaluating Ede Municipality’s Initiatives and Exploring the Expansion of School Meals – Ede, The Netherlands

Key Insights

  • A multipronged food education intervention involving growing fruits and vegetables, school meals and farms visits
  • Conducting a cost-benefit analysis to determine the impact of food edu-cation in schools
  • Improving child health by providing nutritious school lunches


Ede municipality has embraced food education through four intersecting interventions including growing fruit and vegetables, healthy eating in school and farm visits. Ede is now contemplating the incorporation of a fifth intervention, which encourages the introduction of nutritious school lunches. In evaluating the efficacy of these food education initiatives, to inform the further refinement of the city’s food policy, one study examined the cost-benefit associated with food education in primary schools. The primary goal of this analysis was to assess the impact of food education on primary school students, particularly in terms of social advantages. Factors such as the physical and mental health of the children, as well as the overall increase in generated income were considered. The findings show that food education does yield social benefits.

Food Action Cities. (2023, December 21). Fostering Well-Being through Food Education: Evaluating Ede Municipality’s Initiatives and Exploring the Expansion of School Meals – Ede, The Netherlands.

Photo: by master1305 through Freepix

The action and its aims

In an attempt to assess the efficacy of food education initiatives, Ede has undertaken two thorough evaluations. One of these assessments centres on analysing the expenses and advantages linked to food education in primary schools in Ede. The primary objective of this evaluation is to assess the influence of food programming education on primary school students, especially in regard to its societal benefits.

When was it introduced

This analysis was conducted between 2021 and 2023.

Why was it needed

In 2012, through a collaborative process, the city council formulated a vision document for the city, elevating food as one of its 10 key priorities. The overarching aim for Ede is to secure access to healthy and sustainable food for all residents. By 2015, the municipality of Ede had crafted the Visie Food!,  which presented a comprehensive food vision and strategy. The Ede food team actively seeks collaboration and opportunities for cooperation with various policy departments including education. Ede initiated a few activities, such as raising awareness among residents and implementing food education projects. In line with this vision, the City of Ede conducted research on the effects of food education.

Who initiated it, who was involved

The analysis was initiated by the Municipality of Ede.

Impacts to date

The analysis has shown that food programming education involved some immediate and long-term costs, but were outweighed by significant societal benefits, notably in the form of reduced expenditure on physical and mental health of the children involved.

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