The Deputy Mayor of the City of Milan, Ms. Anna Scavuzzo announced the launch of the Cities Feeding the Future Initiative at the School Meals Coalition First Global Summit in Paris to support local governments in initiating or improving their local school meal programs.
Other representatives there to support the launch included Copenhagen City Mayor Mr. Jakob Naesagar, Nairobi City Governor Mr. Sakaja Arthur Johnson, Deputy Mayor of the City of Addis Ababa Dr. Zalalem Mulatu, and the head of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, Mr. Filippo Gavazzeni.
The Cities Feeding the Future Initiative is a partnership of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact (MUFPP), hosting over 270 mayors around the world. Speaking at the launch, Ms. Scavuzzo emphasized strong political commitment and multisectoral collaboration to ensure every child receives a nutritious meal on each day.
“The MUFPP network has a holistic approach, exactly what city mayors should have to ensure they do not fail in their goals. I am responsible for food policy in my city, for education and work together with various partners to achieve my goals. Being a city means that we manage firsthand variety of food system infrastructure, and when we think of food, it is about schools, students, teachers, families, communities, procurement, and everything that is inside our cities,” she said.
Ms. Scavuzzo explained sustaining school feeding programmes is an important goal that requires strong political commitment to succeed. “Through this new initiative, Milan City will share a very pragmatic approach on how we can accelerate progress by expanding sharing of knowledge, best practices, and opportunities.”
Following the launch of the MUFPP in 2015, many cities have expressed interest in learning and improving their school meal programmes, while others sought knowledge on how they could start delivering school meals for the first time. “That’s why we have partnered with the School Meals Coalition to develop this city-led initiative to strengthen collaborative efforts and respond to these needs,” said Ms. Scavuzzo.
The Initiative will work through four pillars aiming to create and promote champions for school meals; invest in capacity building to address knowledge gap; advocacy to promote the global food agenda highlighting the importance of school feeding programs and the role of cities, and research to reinforce the consensus around school meals through generating new evidence drawn from the cities experience.