Since governments began suspending classes back in March, at least 7 million public school students could be starving at home. According to newspaper O Globo, pupils from at least 10 states and six capitals have lost access to free school lunches, which for many constituted their only full daily meal.
On April 7, President Jair Bolsonaro signed a decree that allowed for the reallocation of funds from the National School Meals Program (PNAE) to support low-income children studying from home. These resources, however, do not reach all beneficiaries.
In São Paulo, it is estimated that 3.5 out of 4.5 million students have not had access to school lunches since classes began being held remotely. In Rio de Janeiro, nearly 60 percent of schoolchildren have not received any sort of food supply. For this reason, public prosecutors in both Rio and São Paulo are investigating possible irregularities and urging for more effective distribution of supplies.
Back in March, The Brazilian Report editor-in-chief Gustavo Ribeiro explained how the closure of public schools could spark a nationwide hunger crisis.