school food programs around the world:

lessons for canada


Over 388 million children in at least 161 countries – 83% of all countries globally – receive free or subsidized school meals at school, according to the World Food Programme.  Canada is one of the only members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) without a national school food program. We, members of the Canadian Coalition for Healthy School Food in partnership with George Brown College,  are keen to learn from experts and leaders in other jurisdictions about how their school food programs operate to bring back innovative best practices to inform the creation of a world-class National School Food Program.


This webinar series will delve into how other countries implement their programs, how they are funded/cost-shared, and monitored by different levels of government and external stakeholders. The focus of this webinar series will be on pre-pandemic and cornerstone practices that sustain innovative and comprehensive school food programs. However, some important aspects of pandemic-induced programmatic improvements, investments and expansions will be investigated.


Denmark's school food program webinar

Join the "Denmark's School Food Program: Conceptualization, Underlying Policies and Implementation" on August 25 at 9:30 am (EDT) as we delve into the concept of school food in Denmark as well as its implementation and monitoring guided by the Danish nutritional guidelines and framing education. We will also explore the use of school food as a tool for formation and involvement.

Panelists include:

  • Line Rise Nielsen

  • Astrid Dahl

  • Emil Kiær Lund

  • Morten Kromann Nielsen

italy's school food program webinar

“Italy’s School Food Program: Funding, Underlying Policy Mechanism and Implementation” webinar on June 24 delved into the development of school food programs (SFPs) in Italy, how they are funded and their underlying policy mechanisms, as well as how they are implemented and monitored. It also discussed how international policies/acts such as EU policies influenced SFPs in Italy and regional differences in program modalities.

Past webinar
Brazil's national school food program: PNAE

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).


scotland's school food program

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).