About the GCNF
Global Survey of School Meal Programs ©

School meal programs – in which students are provided with snacks, meals, or other foods in or through schools – are common throughout the world. However, there has been no global school meal program database that gathers standardized information across all countries and sectors and covers a comprehensive set of school-based feeding activities.

The Global Survey of School Meal Programs, conducted by the Global Child Nutrition Foundation (GCNF), will be administered every two to three years, beginning in 2019. The 2019 survey will be used to develop a baseline database on the current state of school feeding programs in all countries of the world (including those with no school feeding activities).

The survey is designed to capture information on:

The scope of each country’s school feeding activities in the most recently completed school year

Government involvement with school feeding

Nutrition, education, and gender

Agricultural and private sector engagement

The survey database will enable a participating country to:

Share information about its school meal programs with stakeholders and researchers around the world

Identify strengths, weaknesses, and needs within programs

Recognize and remedy gaps in program data collection

Learn from the successes and challenges of other countries’ school feeding programs

Invest in school nutrition with deeper knowledge of the sector globally, including trends, gaps, and opportunities

Direct training, education, research, and funding efforts to the areas of greatest need

GCNF is particularly interested in national government involvement with school feeding, and hosts an annual conference, the Global Child Nutrition Forum, to encourage learning and sharing across countries and between officials responsible for school meal programs. Because of the focus on national government ownership and involvement, this survey is designed to be answered by a government representative – a survey Focal Point – who is involved with school feeding in their country. Governments that respond to the survey questionnaire will be invited to send representatives to the Global Child Nutrition Forum at a discounted rate.

Supporting and Contributing Organizations

GCNF wishes to thank all who have been involved in the development, testing, and implementation of this survey to date.

Learn more about GCNF’s contributing partners and their involvement in the 2019 Global Survey of School Meal Programs ©:

United States Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service

Funding for this survey and a follow-up survey in 2021 is provided, in part, by the United States Department of Agriculture under agreement number FX18TA-10960G002. In addition, the staff of USDA Foreign Agricultural Service reviewed and commented on the survey concept, and staff of USDA’s Food and Nutrition Services reviewed and gave input on the survey content and design and provided the US Government response to the pilot survey.

GCNF Business Network

GCNF thanks the members of the GCNF Business Network for the critical support that made this project possible.

The Stuart Family Foundation

GCNF thanks the Stuart Family Foundation for their generous investment in this project.

Evans School of Public Policy and Governance

The University of Washington (UW) – especially the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance – has contributed significantly to background research, survey design, and survey implementation since April 2018.

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Republic of Benin
Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal
Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe
The United States of America

The Global Child Nutrition Foundation works with a global network of governments, businesses, and civil society organizations to support school meal programs that help children and communities thrive. GCNF provides training, technical assistance, and networking opportunities to help governments build national school meal programs that are nutritious, locally-sourced, and ultimately independent from international aid.

Mailing Address

Global Child Nutrition Foundation
P.O. Box 99435, Seattle, WA 98139


 +1 (206) 258-6749



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