School Meals Powering Food System Transformation

Monday 24th July, 09:30-11:00



The School Meals Coalition session will demonstrate that progress and action is possible in a polycrises world. It will focus on how governments are using school meal programmes to kick start food systems transformation. It will demonstrate what success looks like for better diets and nutrition; shorter and more sustainable value chains; better livelihoods, opportunities and markets for smallholder farmers, especially women; and climate action in schools. It will also showcase the Coalition's success in mobilizing concrete governmental action, domestic financial commitments and forge vital partnerships to support government efforts. With a special focus on country action, this session will spotlight Heads of State and Ministers from various sectors, who will announce bold commitments to action, report on progress in creating a healthier future for children and more sustainable food systems globally. 

The challenges facing the global food system are piling up and disproportionately affecting children. 

  • Today, 3 billion people have low-quality diets.
  • In low- and middle-income countries, over half of the young women are not meeting their micronutrient needs.
  • Acute food insecurity is affecting 153 million children - almost half of all people affected.
  • At the same time, we are living through the most profound education crisis in modern history.
  • About 70 percent of 10-year-olds in low-income countries cannot read or write a simple sentence.
  • About 73 million schoolchildren in low-income countries go to school hungry. 

If our food and education systems are simultaneously failing, then the way to a more sustainable future starts by addressing these systemic challenges. There is wide consensus on the multisectoral investment that school meal programmes represent; countries are keen to expand these programmes to support future generations.

The Coalition now counts more than 80 member states, and has achieved significant early success galvanizing domestic investment and securing concrete progress at country level.

The session will focus on the following questions:

  • How can school meal programmes support food systems transformation in countries? 
  • What have countries achieved/committed to since joining the School Meals Coalition?
  • How can partners better support government efforts to strengthen school meal programmes?  

This School Meals Coalition session will showcase country progress and government action. Heads of State and Ministers will explain how they have put their national commitments into action, their results, and their plans to keep increasing their efforts. The session will raise the level of ambition even further, inspiring other countries to join this global initiative for healthier children and more sustainable food systems.


Ministerial Statements


UNFSS+2 Ministerial Statement


Ms Cindy McCain
Ms. Cindy McCain

Executive Director of WFP

Julius Maada Bio
H.E. Mr. Julius Maada Bio

President of Sierra Leone

Pushpa Kamal Dahal
H.E. Mr. Pushpa Kamal Dahal

Prime Minister of Nepal

Mahamadou Ouhoumoudou
H.E. Mr. Mahamadou Ouhoumoudou

Prime Minister of Niger

Chrysula Zacharopoulou,
H.E. Ms. Chrysula Zacharopoulou

Minister of State for Development, France (Co-Chair of School Meals Coalition)

Jaana Husu-Kallio
H.E. Ms. Jaana Husu-Kallio

Deputy Minister, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland (Co-Chair of School Meals Coalition)

Cristina Duarte
H.E. Ms. Cristina Duarte

Under Secretary General and Special Adviser on Africa

Gaspard Twagirayezu
H.E. Mr. Gaspard Twagirayezu

Minister of State, Ministry of Education, Rwanda

Fernanda Pacobahyba
H.E. Ms. Fernanda Pacobahyba

Vice Minister of Education, Brazil 

Jenny Lester Moffitt
Ms. Jennifer Lester Moffitt

Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs, USDA

A. K. Abdul Momen
H.E. Mr. A. K. Abdul Momen

Foreign Minister, People's Republic of Bangladesh

Cem Özdemir
H.E. Mr. Cem Özdemir

 Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, Germany

Roy Steiner
H.E. Mr. Roy Steiner

Senior Vice President for the Food Initiative, Rockefeller Foundation

Anne Beathe Tvinnereim
H.E. Ms. Anne Beathe Tvinnereim

Minister of International Development, Norway

Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri
H.E. Ms. Mariam bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri

Minister of Climate Change and Environment, UAE

H.E. Ms. Amina J. Mohammed
H.E. Ms. Amina Mohammed

UN Deputy Secretary-General