Coalition for Healthy School Food webinars: School Food Programs Around the World

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Author: Sustain Ontario

Posted: June 10, 2021

Categories: Edible Education Network / Good Food Ideas for Kids / News from Sustain Members / School Food News / Schools

The Coalition for Healthy School Food has been hosting some great webinars on School Food Programs Around the World.

Canada is one of the only members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) without a national school food program. This webinar series aims to learn from experts and leaders in other jurisdictions, and delve into how other countries implement their programs, how they are funded/cost-shared, and monitored by different levels of government and external stakeholders.

Recordings are now available from webinars that explored Brazil’s National School Food Program and Scotland’s School Food Program, featuring speakers from those programs.

The Coalition has shared the following about both webinars:

  • The Brazilian National School Food Program (PNAE), created in 1955, is one of the largest social programs in the world, providing meals to over 42 million students in the country’s public schools. The webinar, co-hosted by The Betinho Project at Ryerson’s Centre for Studies in Food Security, Food Secure Canada and the Coalition for Healthy School Food talked about Brazil’s National School Food Program, its structure, its benefits and how it’s helping the country reach the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In the webinar, we learned that thanks to the program, food security problems were alleviated, with the families in need getting local fresh food delivered to their homes, assisting the country with SDG-2 (Zero Hunger). In addition, PNAE highlights the importance of local family farms. The model ensures that these farms, including those of marginalized groups (Indigenous, Quilombolas, low-income farmers, etc.), receive the right local support. This contributes to Brazil’s SDG-1 (No Poverty).
  • Featuring three experts on Scotland’s school food program, the webinar talked about the policy, structure and outreach of the Scottish school meal program, its delivery and implementation modality. The Scottish government has required schools to offer balanced and nutritious diets to pupils since 2008, and free school meals have been offered to primary 1-3 pupils since 2015. Currently, the Scottish schools offer 350,000 meals per day on average and among them, 145,000 meals are offered to children entitled to receive free school meals. Also, the webinar highlighted how the Scottish school meal program is helping the country tackle child poverty, build healthier communities and attain the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Learn more about this series on the Coalition’s website here.