UNICEF Researchers to Discuss COVID-19 School Closures’ Impact on Children’s Nutrition

By Maddie Bunting |

On Thursday, May 13th, the UCR School of Public Policy will be holding a virtual seminar on “Missing More Than a Classroom: The Impact of COVID-19 School Closures on the Nutrition of School-aged Children” by Artur Borkowski and Javier Santiago Ortiz Correa.

Borkowski and Santiago will share data from Brazil and India, access to school meal programs by child and household characteristics to provide evidence on the potential deleterious short term and long-term effects of school meal scheme disruption during COVID-19 globally. 

Borkowski and Santiago claim that once schools reopen, school meal schemes can help address the deprivation that children have experienced during the closures and provide an incentive for parents to send and keep their children, especially girls, in school.

Borkowski is currently conducting research on the effectiveness of Sport for Development for Children for the UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti. According to his profile, “his research interests span: education, migration, child wellbeing, mental health, and multidimensional poverty and inequality.”

Santiago is a consultant for the UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti. According to his profile, “he has been a policy specialist consultant for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) helping partner countries to develop their education sector analyses (ESA's) and their education sector plans (ESP's).”

The Office of Research – Innocenti “is UNICEF’s dedicated research centre. Its core mandate is to undertake cutting-edge, policy-relevant research that equips the organization and the wider global community to deliver results for children.”

Kevin Karami, a fourth year public policy student, said, “COVID-19’s impact on school children’s nutrition is often overlooked. School closures have had multiple consequences on school children and lack of nutrition is one of the biggest issues that is hurting millions of young students. I think it’s important that Dr. Santiago and Dr. Borkowski of UNICEF aim to shed light on an issue that isn’t often discussed, but still has major ramifications.”

This event is open to the general public. Attendees must register to attend. Registrants will receive an email in advance of the event with a link to join. 

Since 2014, the UCR School of Public Policy Seminar Series has been bringing policy makers, practitioners, and researchers to campus to talk about various policy issues facing the region and beyond. During the shelter-in-place order for California, all events are being held online. For more information about the series, visit