Opening schools safely, re–establishing and improving sustainable school meals programmes is an urgent priority.

In early 2020, school feeding programmes delivered more meals than ever before, to 388 million children, or one out of every two primary school children worldwide. This historic progress was the culmination of a decade of action by governments and their partners. However, there was still work to be done with 73 million of the most vulnerable girls and boys without access to school meals.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought this progress to a sudden halt. In April 2020, during the height of the pandemic, almost all countries closed their schools, leaving 370 million school children without access to the one meal a day they could rely on.

To ensure that every child has the opportunity to grow, learn and thrive, a group of member states and partners are forming an international School Meals Coalition.

The Coalition will support governments and their partners to improve the quality of school meals and strengthen school meal systems globally, in a manner which is tailored to local contexts and which promotes the sharing of international best practices.

School meals programmes
Do more than provide food,

they can support local agriculture and markets while simultaneously improving health, nutrition, and education, making communities more resilient.

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Promote gender equity, helping to attract and keep girls in school.

They can rely on local, family farms and catering companies, often run by women, which means more sustainable food and agriculture and more local jobs boosting economic growth.

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Serve as platforms to enable a more holistic approach to child well-being,

through the integration of education, health, and social protection.

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We strive for every child to have the opportunity to receive a healthy, nutritious meal in school by 2030.

By 2030, restore the progress we made by supporting all countries as they re-establish effective school meal programmes and repair what was lost during the pandemic.

By 2030, reach those we missed. The most vulnerable, in low and lower-middle-income countries, were not being reached even before the COVID-19 pandemic.

By 2030, improve our approach by improving the quality and efficiency of existing school meals programmes in all countries by facilitating a healthy food environment in schools and promoting safe, nutritious, and sustainably produced food.