The School Meals Coalition First Global Summit took place in Paris France on 18-19 October 2023. World leaders convened to showcase member countries’ new commitments and welcomed new members of the Coalition.

The Global Summit spotlighted how in many countries school meal programmes serve as a safety net offering a strong lever to nourish the next generations, creating jobs, driving economic growth, transforming food systems, and promoting longer-term development.

Download:

  • Paris Statement – First School Meals Coalition Global Summit EN | FR | ES | PT
  • Summit report EN

Videos from the event

Day 1

Day 2

Our goal is to provide all our children by 2030 with the meals they need to learn and grow well at school. France is committed to this at national level. We are working closely with all our teachers and staff, in our schools, colleges and high schools. This is also what we have done in our university restaurants with one Euro meals through the students’ assistance office. This is what we are doing in our schools with the one Euro canteen. This is what we are doing with free breakfasts. It is an essential fight in our country but also internationally. This is why I have been a strong supporter of the Schools Meals Coalition since we launched it with WFP and Finland. France is contributing to more than 28 million Euros to WFP school meals programmes, and providing support to school meals in emergency situations like in Afghanistan, Haiti, and Venezuela.

President Emmanuel Macron, France

Healthy food is what we eat and is good for our health. It’s not just eating because we have a mouth, but because we know that this food will be good for us, it will take us far.

Miriam Dinaya Ferreira, 9 -year-old learner at Namialo Primary School in Nampula, Mozambique

When I become the Prime Minister, I would give all children two meals a day because a lunch meal makes students less hungry while studying.

Chandy, 13-year-old learner at Kor Koh Primary School in Kampong Thom Province, Cambodia
If I were the Prime Minister, I would give children food three times a day: before they start their classes, at break time, and after school before they go home. Because when they get home, they may not find any food and spend the whole day hungry.
Solomon, 11-year-old learner from Haiti

About the School Meals Coalition First Global Summit

President Emmanuel Macron of France hosts the first global Summit with the theme: Investing in Future Generations: Human Capital, Sustainable Food Systems and Climate Change Action Through School Meals.

The Summit is attended by Heads of State, Ministers, regional organizations, representatives from international and local non-governmental organizations, foundations, research institutions, municipalities, parliamentary networks, and UN agencies. Participants showcase life-changing results and facilitate the sharing of best practices to shape more responsive and resilient school meal programs that can achieve greater impact and reach more children. The Summit mobilizes member states, development partners, and donors to increase their efforts to reach all primary school children by 2030.

© WFP/Giulio d’Adamo

© WFP/SrawanShrestha

The summit aims to achieve the following:

  • Demonstrate strong country commitments to expand and invest in school meal programmes, making them available to all school children globally.
  • Enable regional bodies to showcase leadership and unveiling regional visions and concrete national commitments that have emerged from a series of regional meetings held during 2023.
  • Facilitate partner announcements to launch ambitious initiatives connected to food systems, climate action, and education.
  • Showcase a clear policy action agenda aimed at improving the quality of the programs.
  • Position school meals on the global agenda to contribute to some of the most pressing challenges of our time and the change in paradigm of economic development and wellbeing, including peace, social cohesion, and stability.

Background – Why Now?

In multiple crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic, escalating hunger and malnutrition, unsustainable food systems, ineffective education systems where children fail to learn, conflicts, and climate change, children are the hardest hit.

This is why the School Meals Coalition was launched at the 2021 Food Systems Summit: to ensure that every day, all children receive a nutritious meal in school by 2030, securing their future. It’s a simple yet powerful concept. Through the School Meals Coalition, leaders from 90 countries have concurred that scaling up and enhancing school meal programs is crucial for their country’s development.

The Coalition is promoting improved and more nutritious diets, emphasizing the strong connection between schools and local food production, leading to more sustainable food systems. Over the past two years, school meal programs have generated employment opportunities, primarily for women, in many countries. Climate-friendly school meal programs have been a significant focus in global and regional meetings.

Global investment in school meal programs has risen by USD 5 billion (from $43 billion in 2020 to $48 billion in 2022), benefiting 418 million children compared to 388 million before the COVID-19 pandemic. Government commitment, especially in low-income countries, has increased, with a 15 percent uptick in domestic funding for essential school meals, despite limited fiscal resources.

How school meals impact different sectors

Resources for members and partners

Access essential materials and insights related to the School Meals Coalition First Global Summit – reports, research, and more. Empower yourself to drive positive change!

Media corner

Find background information to enhance your coverage of the summit’s discussions on human capital, sustainable food systems, and climate change action through school meals. Stay connected and keep your audience informed with the latest insights and developments from this critical event.

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