After the end of Full Time Schools, the breakfast program survives

Text: Raúl J. Fontecilla

After the cancellation of Full Time Schools Program (PETC) we remember the beginning of another that fortunately is still in force in support of low-income families: the foods in the primaries.

the canceled today PETC started in the six-year term of Felipe Calderon (2006-2012), one of its key points was to support the healthy food of minors, but it was not the first.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the government of Francisco I Madero (1911-1913) promoted the creation of school canteens that carried earlier proposals to distribute breakfasts and clothing among low-income primary school students in the capital.

The 1920s began when EL UNIVERSAL published photographs of this social work, still in force at that time.

According to the pages of this diary, at the time of Joseph Vasconcelos As the first Secretary of Public Education (1921-1924), there was a belief that in addition to “education that strengthens the spirit”, it was also necessary to provide “bread that nourishes the body” for minors with limited resources.


Images taken by EL UNIVERSAL photographers in July 1921, during school breakfasts in schools in the capital. EL UNIVERSAL newspaper library.

Throughout 1942 the pages of this diary repeatedly reported progress in efforts to provide school breakfasts in different entities of the country. It was insisted that families not stop sending their children to school, as it was thus possible to ensure that the support reached the schoolchildren directly.

During the administration of President Adolfo Lopez Mateos (1958-1964), who in his youth was a disciple of José Vasconcelos, the importance of feeding for elementary school students.

“The nutrition it is a decisive element in the destinies of all animal species”, it was read at the beginning of the article Nutrition and Educationin the pages of this newspaper in 1959.
In these lines, the influence was compared, in the academic resultsof the poor diet of the students with that of factors such as the quality of the teaching staff and the cooperation of the heads of families.

This policy was reinforced in 1961 with the creation of the National Institute for the Protection of Children (INPI), chaired by the first lady, Eva Samano.

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Ensuring a balanced diet for basic education students was a priority of the INPI, whose patronage was presided over by Eva Sámano, wife of Adolfo López Mateos. EL UNIVERSAL newspaper library.

This initiative remains in force in the activities of the DIFF. Today it is possible to visit the website of the School Feeding Program which benefits, at least in the capital, more than 370,000 minors in preschool, primary and special education. For his part, the PETC benefited more than 3.6 million girls and boys nationwide.