Program of Brazil-FAO International Cooperation

Consolidation of School Feeding Programs in Latin America and the Caribbean

The project Consolidation of School Feeding Programs in Latin America and the Caribbean is carried out by the Brazil-FAO International Cooperation Program, through the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC/MRE), the National Fund for the Development of Education (FNDE/MEC) and the FAO.

The project has the participation and continuous support of countries that have requested technical cooperation actions, such as: Belize, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

The project aims to contribute to the development and strengthening of public school feeding policies in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, especially focusing on guaranteeing:

a) the human right to food of students through access to adequate and healthy food;

b) the promotion and incentive of healthy eating habits in the students and their families with food and nutritional education actions;

c) the promotion of the sustainable development of the local economy through direct purchases from family farmers and their productive organizations, such as cooperatives and associations.

The project also contributes to the achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs), especially the goals 1 (No poverty), 2 (Zero hunger), 3 (Good health and Well-being), 4 (Quality education), 8 (Decent work and economic growth), 12 (Responsible consumption and production) and 17 (Partnerships for the goals):

To reach these objetives, the project works with the implementation of different methodologies, such as: capacity building, exchanges of experiences between countries and the implementation of Sustainable Schools.


School feeding has been considered as a multisectoral policy because it allows countries to achieve objectives in different strategic areas such as education, health, agriculture, social development, environment, territorial development, and others.

It can be seen as a transversal policy in the confrontation of poverty and other social problems, as it favors the human development of students, improves eating habits, guarantees access to healthy and adequate food and promotes development of the local economy, through the purchase of food produced in the school environment.

The Brazilian National School Feeding Program (PNAE) has an institutionalization and a legal framework that characterizes it as a state policy. Since 2009, the approval of the School Feeding Law - 11.947/2009 - guarantees food and nutritional security through the provision of adequate, healthy, continuous and universal school meals to all 41 million students in the public education system in the country. It also guarantees the commitment to food and nutrition education, respect for local culture and the use of local family farming products, among other innovations.

For more than 65 years, PNAE develops actions to guarantee the provision of healthy food for the composition of a healthy menu for more than 150 thousand schools in 5,570 cities.

The international technical cooperation in school feeding carried out by the government of Brazil with the support of FAO, from the beginning, stands out for sharing the experiences of the PNAE of Brazil, developed by the National Fund for the Development of Education, an autarky linked to the Ministry of Education (MEC).

Since 2009, the Brazil-FAO Cooperation Program has been promoting dialogue on the issue of school feeding, starting with the development of the project Strengthening School Feeding Programs within the framework of the Initiative Latin America and the Caribbean Without Hunger 2025. Until the end of 2018, the project reached 17 countries and became an important cooperation and Exchange tool for the strengthening of school feeding programs in the region.

As a result of the broad dialogue that the project promoted in those countries, in 2018, the Brazilian government proposed the continuity of the cooperation actions and the implementation of a Sustainable School Feeding Network (RAES, for its acronym in Spanish), as a response in favor of the achievement of the goals of the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition 2016-2025 and of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Sustainable School Feeding Network - RAES

The Sustainable School Feeding Network (RAES) is the Brazilian government's response to the global commitment to improve the quality of food for populations and promote a healthier and more sustainable food system for the various continents.

The objective of the RAES is to support countries of Latin America and the Caribbean in the implementation and reformulation of their school feeding programs, in the logic of access and guaranteeing the human right to adequate food, in addition to trying to achieve the targets of the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition 2016-2025 and the SDGs.

Since its implementation, RAES has promoted relevant dialogues, meetings and actions in the search to strengthen school feeding programs through the exchange of experiences, presentation of good practices and permanent dialogue among the governments of the countries, even in times of pandemic.

Lines of action

  • To review and analyze the demands of countries consdering previous constructions and propose follow-up actions to guarantee the sustainability of school feeding programs;
  • To support countries that want to structure a sustainable school feeding program;
  • To strengthen and consolidate the school feeding policies of the countries based on the principles and organizations of previously initiated programs;
  • To develop and strengthen human capacities for the implementation of local policies, having as its main axis the training of managers, administrators, technicians, nutritionists, teachers, local education coordinators, among others professionals;
  • To accompany, monitor and evaluate scheduled activities;
  • To promote the dialogue and the exchange of experiences among countries to guarantee the sustainability of school feeding programs.

Main activities developed in 2020/2021:

Healthy life course 2021

The course is on its second edition and has the objective of strengthening the capacities of professionals in the areas of nutrition, education, health, agriculture and others for the development, implementation and monitoring of food and nutrition education actions within the framework of the SFPs.

Six countries participate in this edition: Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Paraguay, Guatemala, Colombia and Peru. The action aims to train at least 3,000 professionals.

Event: Dialogue on food waste in schools: challenges and possibilities

Dialogues to exchange experiences of good practices, the identification of opportunities and challenges for the implementation of actions in the short, medium and long term can contribute to pedagogical practices to face and combat food waste in the school environment.

Virtual course for the professionals and managers of the Caribbean countries

Virtual course for Caribbean countries, where managers involved with school feeding participated in learning classes on food and nutrition education and other topics.

Healthy life course 2020

First edition of the virtual training with the objective of strengthening the capacities of professionals in the areas of nutrition, education, health, agriculture and others for the development, implementation and monitoring of food and nutrition education actions within the framework of the SFPs. About 1,800 students from Colombia, Peru and Guatemala participated

Seminars and virtual meetings

In 2020, in the context of the covid-19 pandemic, governments found alternatives to minimize the effects of class suspension and face the challenge of maintaining food and nutritional security for students. In this scenario, the project carried out virtual seminars to exchange experiences among countries in school feeding in the face of the pandemic.

Regional Virtual Symposium

Governments and experts present an overview of school feeding actions during the pandemic and food and nutritional security protocols for post-COVID-19

The virtual event brought together more than 3,000 people who attended the two-day event through social networks, where representatives of governments and experts from the region presented their strategies to guarantee school feeding programs during the pandemic, as well as their plans to the safe return of children to schools.

Main strategies implemented:

Within the framework of the project, 19 countries were reached with different activities to strengthen their programs, of which 10 countries implemented Sustainable Schools.

The project encourages the participation of managers from various areas in addition to education, such as health, agriculture, planning and social development, from a cross-cutting and intersectoral perspective of school feeding programs in the region. To facilitate this multi-stakeholder dialogue, inter-institutional technical committees were created in several countries.