About the Global Survey of School Meal Programs

Around the world, there is an unprecedented understanding and adoption of school meal programs as an economic investment strategy for country governments. Home-grown school feeding programs not only serve social protection and development goals by feeding hungry children and fostering education, they also contribute intergenerational benefits to families and can create jobs, empower women, and connect smallholder farmers with a consistent market for their goods.

Members of the global school meal network anecdotally know that more countries are moving toward national ownership (progressing from international aid), local sourcing, and a stronger focus on nutrition. However, the field currently suffers from a lack of comprehensive, comparable, data-driven assessments of what is happening in a given country, across countries and continents, and across the globe.

The Global Survey, conducted by the Global Child Nutrition Foundation, will be used to develop a database on the current state of school feeding in all countries of the world (including those with no school feeding activities). 

The survey is designed to capture information on:

  • The scope of school feeding activities in each country
  • The foods used in the program(s) and how they are sourced
  • Government involvement with school feeding
  • Links to local agriculture
  • Nutrition, education, and gender
  • Private sector engagement
  • School health and sanitation topics

GCNF plans to pilot the first round of the survey at the 2018 Global Child Nutrition Forum. If you are a government official and qualify* to serve as your country’s Focal Point, or wish to nominate a colleague to do so, please contact globalsurvey@gcnf.org

The survey will be repeated at regular intervals in the future. The initial survey will provide a baseline description of school feeding and allow stakeholders to track developments over time. The Global Survey of School Meal Programs database will enable you to:

  • Share and compare information about your school feeding programs with stakeholders and researchers around the world
  • Describe strengths and challenges within your programs
  • Recognize and remedy gaps in program data collection
  • Learn from the successes and challenges of other countries’ school feeding programs
  • Invest in school feeding with fuller knowledge of the sector globally, including trends, gaps, and opportunities
  • Direct training, education, research, and funding efforts to the areas of greatest need

The survey asks about national school feeding programs and other large-scale similar programs, including programs that are managed or administered by the national, regional, or local government and large-scale school feeding programs that are managed by a non-governmental entity.

*GCNF is particularly interested in national government involvement with school feeding. For this reason, the survey is designed to be answered by a government representative – a survey Focal Point – who is involved with school feeding in their country. In addition to gathering any information needed and completing the survey, the government Focal Point will also be expected to gain any approvals required before the country’s data is made publicly available in the GCNF database.

THE GLOBAL SURVEY OF SCHOOL MEAL PROGRAMS IS SUPPORTED IN PART BY THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE AS PART OF THE FAS AGREEMENT NO. FX18TA-10960G002.