School food global hub


Schools and the right to food​

Healthy diets play a fundamental role in the well-being of children and the socio-economic advancement of communities, thus contributing towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals. Around the world, a range of policies and programmes have therefore been put in place to enable healthy diets and prevent malnutrition in children, and schools are a common setting for their implementation.​

In many vulnerable contexts, school meals are a very important portion of the food that schoolchildren consume every day, and represent a measure to ensure their right to food. As meals provided and other foods available in schools can play such a fundamental role in the lives of many vulnerable children, it is essential to set standards to enhance the impact on their diets. The importance of these standards is generally recognized; however, many countries have not yet defined theirs, while others have criteria that need to be reviewed. Overall, the absence of clarity on the best ways to develop these standards makes their adoption and implementation quite challenging.

The project  ​

FAO is working in partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP) to develop a methodology that ensures that the nutrition needs of schoolchildren are prioritized. The methodology will also be adaptable to the wider context in which the school meals are provided, taking into consideration geographical availability, local infrastructure, school-food environment and cultural meaning among other factors. Finally, it will ensure that there is consistency and complementarity with nutrition education programmes and other school policies.    ​

The development of the methodology and complementary measures, such as food and nutrition education and supporting policy and legal frameworks, is part of the project School food nutrition guidelines and standards for safeguarding children and adolescents’ right to food, which is supported by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) of Germany.

This hub​

This hub aims to provide experts and professionals with technical resources about school food and nutrition and its related topics.​

Moreover, a fundamental objective of this hub is to engage non-technical audiences like schoolchildren, adolescents, school staff and families who are not normally considered when designing standards for school food and other school-based interventions. The Youth Corner serves as an opportunity to make the voices of schoolchildren and adolescents heard while providing technical audiences with access to first-hand inputs and opinions from young people.​

This hub has been created in close consultation with technical experts from WFP, UNICEF, UNESCO, WHO, IFAD, GCNF, CGIAR, LSHTM, UN Nutrition, the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture of Germany (BMEL), GIZ Germany and the School Meals Coalition.​

What experts say about this knowledge hub

Donald Bundy

Donald Bundy, Director of the Global Research Consortium for School Health and Nutrition, believes that the knowledge hub will support countries in enhancing the quality of national nutrition programmes.

Doris Heberle

For Doris Heberle, Deputy Director General Nutrition at the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture of Germany, the hub can play a key role in setting up, rebuilding and scaling up school meal programmes.

Heidi Kessler

Heidi Kessler, Senior Operations and Program Officer at the Global Child Nutrition Foundation, explains how the involvement of children and youth is a distinctive feature of this hub.

Kathryn Ogden

For Kathryn Ogden, Nutrition Officer at the UN Nutrition Secretariat, the knowledge hub offers the opportunity for everyone to bring positive change to learning and exchange on school food and nutrition. 

Deepika Sharma

Deepika Sharma, Nutrition Specialist at UNICEF, explains how the creation of the knowledge hub is a key milestone for establishing a community of practice on school food nutrition.