SFM joins International School Meals Coalition

19 November 2021
We are proud to have joined a coalition of governments, academics and NGOs working to improve school food systems around the globe.
School Meals Coalition logo

School food provision has come a long way over the last century, but the Covid-19 pandemic has inhibited progress. School closures saw 370 million children unable to access what could be their only nutritious meal in a day. In the UK and internationally, the importance of school food was exposed in a stark way.

In light of this, over 110 countries and agencies formed the School Meals Coalition, in September 2021. The Coalition strives ‘for every child to have the opportunity to receive a healthy, nutritious meal in school by 2030.’

Partners range from organisations such as Save the Children and Oxfam, to nations from the US to Bhutan. Notably absent is the UK, where school meals have been established since 1906. It is disappointing the UK Government has not yet signed up to this coalition, where it could both offer support and receive invaluable insights.

Founding member Professor Donald Bundy has made clear the importance of investing ‘in the learner as well as their learning’. School meals have the potential to improve the wellbeing of citizens as children and for the rest of their life. They can help address policy areas ranging from obesity to education to local economies.

We look forward to sharing learning with others across the coalition. As the evidence base grows for the power of school food, so do calls for the UK Government to finally undertake a comprehensive review of its school food policies, which currently mean too many children miss out on nutritious school meals.

You can find out more about the coalition by watching this excellent film.