Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)

Author of submission (name, surname, position, organization)

Elena Bolotnikova, Director on International Cooperation, Social and Industrial Foodservice Institute

Title of your example

Sustainable School Feeding Foundation


Governance and accountability for nutrition.

Date, location and geographic scope of your example (regional, sub-regional, national, local)

2015-2016, Armenia, National

Main responsible entity(ies) for the implementation of your example

The Sustainable School Feeding Foundation(Foundation) was established by the Government of the Republic of Armenia (by the Decree of the Government of the Republic of Armenia No. 1391 on December 22, 2016) to ensure continuation and development of “Sustainable School Feeding” National Pilot Programme initiated with the support from UN WFP and implemented since 2014, hereinafter referred to as the National School Feeding Programme.

When fully operational the Foundation will be delegated responsibility for implementation of the National School Feeding Programme in all 10 provinces of Armenia, and school feeding programme will be fully transitioned from donor assistance to national ownership.

The Foundation strategy was developed in close cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science with technical assistance from the Social and Industrial Foodservice Institute (SIFI).


Key objectives and implementation approach of your example

WFP has been implementing “Development of Sustainable School Feeding” project (WFP DEV ARMENIA 200128) in Armenia since 2010. It is financed by the Russian Federation and implemented with technical support from the SIFI.

The project is aimed at solving several tasks. Firstly, to improve accessibility of education for primary school children by directly providing them with food. Secondly, to assist the Government of the Republic of Armenia in establishing the base for the hand-over in implementation of the Sustainable National School Feeding Programme throughout the country.

The project provides schools with food in the most food insecure areas of Armenia as well as technical assistance to the Government of the Republic of Armenia in developing National School Feeding Programme.

In addition to these, the innovative component was introduced – all schools were provided with the new technological equipment on condition of self-improvement of the school feeding infrastructure (including renovation of canteens).

First positive results of the UN WFP project attracted the high attention from the Government side and lead to the development and implementation of the National School Feeding Programme.

Within the Development of Sustainable School Feeding project a number of strategic documents aimed at establishment of a solid national legal framework for school feeding were developed.

In 2013 Sustainable School Feeding Strategy and Action plan were adopted by the Government.

The main objective of the Strategy is introducing the sustainable school feeding system throughout the country and providing primary school children with healthy food, which will improve their health, attendance and education quality.

The Action Plan on Strategy implementation includes a long-term list of tasks aimed at forming a legal and regulatory framework for school feeding, developing the institutional capacity of the Government, piloting the school feeding models, developing and implementing the mechanisms to attract extra-budgetary funds for school feeding development.

These documents laid the groundwork for phased development of a sustainable school feeding system at the national level.

Thanks to expertise provided by Russia, the Government of Armenia acknowledged the need for school infrastructure improvement and National School Feeding Programme was launched. The National School Feeding Programme financed by the national budget has been firstly implemented in 3 regions with the 4th to join this year.

Starting next year, the National Programme will cover 6 provinces subsequently covering all ten provinces of Armenia.

The Programme activities proved to the Government of Armenia that it is essential to establish a specific institution with a clear mandate and a wide range of competencies as school feeding is a complex area covering and linking different sectors such as education, health, social security, agriculture and national economy. Thus, it was decided to establish the Sustainable School Feeding Foundation that is going to be responsible for all management processes.

The main task of the Foundation is to strengthen school feeding in Armenia and providing all schoolchildren of the country with balanced, safe and high quality hot school meals.

The Foundation’s main objectives:

improve national policies and legislation related to school feeding;

oversee and strengthen coordination of national bodies and interested parties involved in school feeding;

enhance Sustainable School Feeding Programme efficiency,

improve financing mechanism to ensure School Feeding Programme sustainability;

fundraise to improve school feeding in the country;

capacity building of the personnel involved in implementation of the school feeding programme;

promote healthy lifestyle and healthy eating habits;

support and develop local food production to supply schools with good quality food for school meals;

enhance participation of local communities, parents, donors and business enterprises in development of school feeding.


Funding and technical assistance of your example

Initially the Foundation will be supported by the World Food Programme.

When the Government of Armenia is fully in charge of the implementation of the National School Feeding Programme, the Foundation activities will be financed by the national budget.


Key stakeholders involved. Describe the cross-sectoral coordination mechanism of your example, if any

The Foundation charter and strategy development has been carried out in close cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science and Inter-Ministerial Working Group established by the Decree of the Minister of Education and Science on June 24, 2015.

The Inter-Ministerial Working Group was created to coordinate implementation of the National School Feeding Programme. The Working Group comprised representatives from the Ministries of education, health, agriculture, social affairs, and territorial administration.

Some local educational authorities and other school community actors also provided valuable inputs contributing to the Foundation documents development process.


How your example addresses food security and nutrition challenges? Describe linkages to social protection policies / school food programmes / sustainable food systems

Despite the joint achievements of UN WFP and National Government over the last seven years of the school feeding programme implementation, Armenia is still facing malnutrition - with the coexistence of under-nutrition, over-nutrition and micronutrient deficiencies - country’s growing challenge, with 19 percent of children being stunted, 15 percent being overweight or obese though with substantial micronutrient deficiencies.

School feeding goes beyond the Ministry of Education mandate as it includes such issues as cooperation with local food producers, health and social safety nets. That is why every country should establish an institution to coordinate cooperation of different governmental bodies involved in providing students with healthy and nutritious school meals thus providing a complex approach.

The newly established Sustainable School Feeding Foundation is going to address these and other problems related to healthy diets of schoolchildren of Armenia and ensure coordination between different governmental bodies and institutions involved in school feeding. The Foundation is going to:

- oversee effective provision of healthy, diverse and balanced school meals to all schoolchildren of the country;

- contribute to improving quality of education, public health service and social protection of schoolchildren;

- promote healthy lifestyle and healthy eating habits in schools.

The Sustainable School Feeding Foundation is going to be in charge of managing school feeding programmes in all provinces of the Republic of Armenia funded by the national budget including:

- development and implementation of projects aimed at improving school infrastructure essential to provide school meals;

- development and implementation of projects aimed at transitioning schools to advanced school feeding models;

- support schoolyards development to diversify school meals;

- methodical support of schools implementing school feeding programmes;

- raising awareness of communities and stakeholders of the National sustainable school feeding programme;

- engagement of parents, communities and business entities to school feeding programme implementation at the local level;

- informational support of the National sustainable school feeding programme.


What are the elements needed for the practice to be institutionally, socially, economically and environmentally resilient and/or sustainable?

Some of the key factors required in order to ensure sustainable functioning of the Foundation are:

Adoption of the new National School Feeding Development Strategy for the period of 2017 – 2025 envisaging finalization of transition of school feeding programme from WFP assistance to national ownership (the Government of the Republic of Armenia).

Commitment and engagement from all authorities with competence in elaborating and implementing school feeding programme, from the relevant Ministries (Education and Science, Labour and Social Issues, Agriculture, Health, Economy, Territorial Administration and Development) to provincial authorities.

Financial allocation from the national budget to provide sufficient funding to implement the Foundation Strategy.


The impact of your example on national policies and people’s lives. What indicators have been used to measure it?

The National School Feeding Programme has been implemented since 2014 in three provinces – Vayots Dzor, Syunik and Ararat and provides schools with 140 AMD (approximately $0.30) per day per child from the national budget for feeding of students of grades 1-4. The students are provided with hot meals on a daily basis.

As of December, 2015, the National Programme covers:

Vayots Dzor - 45 schools, 2427 children

Syunik - 110 schools, 6197 children

Ararat - 109 schools, 13158 children.

In general, the National Programme covers approximately 22000 primary school children and preschool children.

In September 2017, 75 schools in Tavush province also joined the National School Feeding Programme. These schools are being repaired with the support of international organizations and local NGOs working in Tavush and equipped with the required production equipment with the support of the WFP.

The similar work on improvement of basic conditions of schools required for the school feeding arranging is planned in Shirak. Hot meals are considered as the basic model of school meals.

The process of Sustainable School Feeding Foundation establishment is still in progress. However, it is clear that a national institution that is mandated and accountable for the implementation of the school feeding programme is considered to be a best practice.

The Foundation will have adequate resources and knowledgeable staff to manage the school feeding programme and will ensure a complex approach to providing healthy, nutritional and balanced meals to schoolchildren hence addressing the problem of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies across the country.


Key lessons (positive and negative) that can be learned from your example and how gaps, obstacles and any other adverse conditions were addressed

There has been the increased interest from the Government of Armenia to school feeding since the “Development of Sustainable School Feeding” project was launched in 2010.

Right now the Ministry of Education and Science is taking the lead coordinating efforts of different Ministries to address school feeding issues.

Provincial authorities are eager to move from snack to hot feeding modality, however, shortages of funds do not allow to do that.

There is lack of coordination between the Ministry of Education and Science and Ministry of Agriculture leading to lack of implementation of mechanisms to increase local production purchases from small holders.


Sources and/or additional background material