Program of Brazil-FAO International Cooperation

Consolidation of School Feeding Programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean

The project Consolidation of School Feeding Programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean is carried out by the Brazil-FAO International Cooperation Programme, through the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC/MRE), the National Fund for Educational Development (FNDE/MEC) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (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 Programme (PNAE) has an institutionalization and a legal framework that caracterizes 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 66 years, PNAE develops actions to guarantee the provision of healthy food for the composition of a healthy menu for more than 150,000 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 FNDE, an autarky linked to the Ministry of Education (MEC).

Since 2009, the Brazil-FAO Cooperation Programme has been promoting dialogue on the topic of school feeding, starting with the development of the project Strengthening School Feeding Programmes 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 importante 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, for its acronym in Spanish) is an International Cooperation tool developed by the Government of Brazil, through the Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC/MRE) and the National Fund for Educational Development (FNDE/MEC), with the support of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), through the project Consolidation of School Feeding Programs in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The RAES was a response of these Brazilian institutions to the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016-2025), promulgated by the UN General Assembly in 2016 after the recommendations of the Second International Conference on Nutrition, in Rome, in 2014. The Decade records the commitment of world leaders to establish national policies aimed at eradicating hunger and malnutrition, seeking the transformation of food systems in favor of nutritious diets and access to healthy food for all.

The Network seeks to support the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean in the implementation and reformulation of their school feeding programs, under the principle of the human right to adequate food. This means supplying all students with healthy, adequate, tasty food according to the local culture, in appropriate spaces, associated with food and nutrition education actions.

The creation of the RAES Network took into account the vast Brazilian experience accumulated on the subject of school feeding over more tan  66 years. The programme is characterized by its wide coverage, benefiting, daily and universally, 41 million students. It also considered the experience of international cooperation developed since 2009 in conjunction with the FAO.

Since 2018, the RAES has made efforts to promote dialogue, develop capacities, exchange experiences and information, with the aim of consolidating school feeding programmes in the Latin American and Caribbean region and favoring the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Lines of action

  • To review and analyze the demands of countries considering previous constructions and propose follow-up actions to guarantee the sustainability of school feeding programmes;
  • To support countries that want to structure a sustainable school feeding programme;
  • To strengthen and consolidate the school feeding policies of the countries based on the principles and organizations of previously initiated programmes;
  • 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 programmes.

Main strategies implemented:

Within the framework of the project , 19 countries were reached with different activities to strengthen their programmes, of which 13 countries implemented Sustainable Schools, .directly benefiting more than 1,6 million children, located in 536 municipalities in 63 departments, reaching 23,385 schools.

The Sustainable Schools methodology defined in conjunction with the countries seeks to promote municipalities and schools as a reference for the implementation of sustainable SFPs, with universal coverage (to all students), based on the concrete and practical experience of knowledge and learning about the school feeding policy and food and nutrition education to promote healthy eating habits. It is an activity to be developed by different sectors of the government until scaling it to the national level.

The project also 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 programmes in the region. To facilitate this multi-stakeholder dialogue, inter-institutional technical committees were created in several countries.

Actions of RAES in 2023

In 2023, numerous actions were carried out within the framework of the Sustainable School Feeding Network (RAES). These activities were integrated with the countries and institutions in the region collaborating to promote healthy and adequate school nutrition for all students. Below is a list of these actions:

Teacher training

Training sessions were conducted to support the training of tutors in food and nutritional education (FNE) and other strategic actions in Colombia, Chile, El Salvador, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic.

Launch of the podcast series 'Understanding Sustainable Schools'

The series consists of 11 episodes featuring interviews with experts explaining the importance of Sustainable School methodologies, which have already reached 1.6 million students in the region. The series is a new information strategy that provides an opportunity to develop and enhance professional skills. This initiative served as an additional tool to the various training courses offered and was honored at the 2nd FAO Transforma Fair of inspiring experiences.

Publications and Studies

Technical Missions

  1. Dominican Republic: Training for Caribbean professionals in food and nutritional education (FNE).
  2. Panama 1 – Training of tutors in food and nutritional education (FNE).
  3. Brasília – II International Congress of School Feeding and RAES Mission.
  4. Panama 2 – Best practices in Food and Nutritional Education in Latin America.
  5. Rio de Janeiro – Mission of the Dominican Republic to learn about PNAE in RJ and actions of CECANE UFF.
  6. Peru – Sustainable Schools Mission.

Development and adaptation to Portuguese of the 'Healthy Life' course

The course 'School Nutrition as an Educational Strategy for a Healthy Life' had 3 virtual editions offered to Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru, and the Dominican Republic. In total, over 7,200 professionals were trained in the region from 2020 to 2022. In 2023, the course was adapted for professionals from the National School Feeding Programme (PNAE) of Brazil, targeting 500 technicians.

Latin American Nutrition Congress – SLAN

RAES participated in this important regional event with a promotional booth showcasing all the work done in the region and a symposium on the topic of Sustainable School Feeding Network: advances and prospects in Latin America and the Caribbean.


On November 9, 2023, the regional office of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) for ALC organized a technical meeting on 'social protection systems and food and nutritional security: implementation challenges within the SAN Plan of CELAC.'

The meeting had the participation of ABC, represented by Paola Barbieri, from the General Coordination of Food and Nutritional Security of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil, represented by Saulo Ceolin, and Najla Veloso, coordinator of the school feeding project of the Brazil-FAO Cooperation.

Project closure event

The event 'School Feeding in Latin America and the Caribbean – trajectory and perspectives' marked the closure of the project 'Consolidation of School Feeding Programs in Latin America and the Caribbean.'

On this occasion, the video of the 14 years of International Cooperation Brazil-FAO in School Feeding was released, where all the work done since 2009 can be reviewed through the video.