Commitments to action

School Meals Coalition: Nutrition, Health and Education for Every Child

Finland, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Iceland, Russia, Rwanda, Senegal, Sweden, USA, African Union/AUDA-NEPAD, UN World Food Programme, African Union, Finland, France, Honduras, Rwanda, Senegal, Sweden, USA, Angola, Argentina, Benin, Bhutan, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, DRC, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Gambia, Germany, Guinee, Guyana, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Monaco, Morocco, Namibia, Nepal, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Republic of Congo, Spain, Somalia, Timor-Leste, Guatemala, Iceland, Russia, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, ADRA, Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, Andre Food International, AUDA/NEPAD, AVSI, Breakfast Club of Canada C40, Canadian Coalition for Healthy School Food, Catholic Relief Services, Chefs Manifesto SDG2Hub, Childs Destiny and Development Organization, City of Milan, Copenhagen Business School, Dubai Cares, EAT, ECW, FAO, Food For Thought, Gain, GCNF, Global Partnership for Education (GPE), Graca Machel Trust, IFAD, International Rice Research Institute – CGIAR, JAM International, Kitchen Connection, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Mary’s Meals, Northumbria University, OSAA, OXFAM, PCD, Plan International, Save the Children, Stop Hunger, The Africa Rice Center, The Global Food Banking Network, UN Nutrition, UNICEF, University of Leeds, University of Toronto, USA Food Systems for the Future, War Child, WHO, World Fish Malaysia, WFP, World Vision

The School Meals Coalition’s goal is to improve the quality and expand the scale of school meals programmes globally as a platform to reach communities, simultaneously transforming food, education, social protection and health systems. In order to do this, the coalition will pursue the following objectives:

  1. Improve the quality and efficiency of existing nationally owned school meals programmes in all countries by ensuring healthy food environments in schools and promoting nutritious and sustainably produced food, diverse and balanced diets, linking to local and seasonal production where appropriate. This will address all forms of malnutrition, promote the delivery of integrated school health and nutrition services, improve opportunities for smallholder farmers, create local jobs for women entrepreneurs and add value along the entire supply chain, benefiting local economies. The coalition aims to take existing national programmes to the next level, ensuring that their potential to be transformational is realized.
  2. Restore and expand school meals for those in need. The COVID-19 pandemic has destroyed national education systems and with them, national school meals programmes. Under this coalition, countries commit to re-establishing school meal programmes and restoring what was lost during the pandemic. The most vulnerable 73 million children in low and lower middle-income countries, that were not being reached even before the pandemic, will be covered. Importantly, the efficiency of programmes in these countries will be improved so they become more sustainable and self-reliant.

Governments and partners have committed their support of this initiative because the evidence on the systemic impact of school meals programmes across multiple sectors is well documented. These programmes yield benefits through at least five pathways: education; health/nutrition; gender equality; social protection; and local food systems and economies. They can therefore contribute to the achievement of seven of the SDGs, including those related to poverty (SDG1), hunger and all forms of malnutrition (SDG2), health (SDG3), education (SDG4), gender equality (SDG5), sustainable consumption and production (SDG12) and partnerships (SDG17).

The road back from the damage wrought by Covid-19 will be long, and uneven. One of the most important contributions to recovery governments and their partners can make, is reestablishing school meals programs. These programs work. They change lives, for children, and communities. Simply put, restoring and establishing school meals programs is among the most important contributions the world can make to secure the future for our children and our societies.


Member state(s)
Civil society
Indigenous peoples
Producer organizations

Action Area(s)

Nourish All People



Key contact

Carmen Burbano, Finland, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Iceland, Russia, Rwanda, Senegal, Sweden, USA, African Union/AUDA-NEPAD, UN World Food Programme,


School meals, Human capital, Local agriculture


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