“Investing in food security and nutrition for the younger generations is an investment in development and in ending inequality,” Brazil President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva
The School Meals Coalition is celebrating its new co-chair, Brazil, as it joins France and Finland to strengthen leadership and countries’ commitments toward expanding and improving quality of school meal programmes around the world.
Brazil brings to the School Meals Coalition leadership a wealth of experience in school meals, with the oldest and one of the largest programmes in the world. Currently, Brazil provides nutritious meals to 40 million children every day. That is why during its forthcoming G20 Presidency in 2024, Brazil will emphasize school meals as a crucial instrument to combat hunger and malnutrition and to address poverty and inequality through the establishment of a Global Alliance Against Hunger and Poverty.
International Cooperation Strategy on School Feeding
Speaking at the School Meals Coalition First Global Summit in Paris, Ambassador and Secretary-General of Foreign Affairs, Maria Laura da Rocha announced Brazil will be hosting the next Global Summit in 2025.
She also mentioned that Brazil is interested in proposing a new initiative: “International Cooperation Strategy on School Feeding” which will promote best practices and accelerate access to healthy and nutritious meals in schools in all countries.
Through the Food Acquisition Programme, Brazil is promoting the diversification of crop production, connecting agricultural supply to a diversified demand, including school meals in rural settings. Brazil also has in place a law that guarantees at least 30% of the food used in the preparation of school meals is locally sourced from family farms to support economic empowerment, especially among women.
Ambassador da Rocha also announced a collaboration between the University of São Paulo and the Coalition’s Research Consortium for School Health and Nutrition to conduct a case study on Brazilian school feeding programmes. Brazil will also lead a new community of practice on artificial intelligence in school feeding planning contexts.
“I can assure all members and partners of the Coalition that Brazil will spare no effort to help the School Meals Coalition achieve its objectives,” said Ambassador da Rocha, “The adoption of the Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 was a time of great promise and optimism. As President Lula rightly noted at the United Nations General Assembly, most of the sustainable development goals are moving forward at a slow pace, and the moral and political imperative to eradicate poverty and end hunger seems to be numb.”
“World hunger is a political problem requiring political solutions. We need to work faster and harder to achieve the goal. Providing adequate school meals, not diversions, is one of the most important long-term structural strategies for tackling food and nutrition insecurity.”