Join GCNF as we celebrate nutritious, locally-sourced school meal programs in Washington state and around the world.
Local to Global will explore the importance of providing accessible nutrition-based school meals for children globally and will highlight the innovative partnerships that support this priority in Washington state. The event will feature some of the many foods produced in Washington by both land and sea that support the health and education of children.
700 Virginia Street
Seattle, WA 98101
Why School Meals?
Locally-grown, nutritious school meals are at the heart of GCNF’s mission. We believe that school meal programs not only feed children the nutritious food they need to concentrate and learn in class, but support families, communities, and countries. School feeding and school meal programs are present in almost every country, functioning as one of the largest safety nets in the world. Learn more about the benefits of home-grown school meal programs below.
School Meals Help Students Learn and Thrive
School meal programs are present in almost every country, functioning as one of the largest safety nets in the world. Currently, 368 million children – 1 in 5 – receive a daily meal when they are at school. For many children in vulnerable communities, this is the only nutritious meal they will receive throughout the day. Evidence shows school meals draw children into school, increase girls’ attendance rates, and provide students with the nutrition they need to concentrate and learn.
School Meals Help Create Jobs and Build Local Economies
Home-grown school meal programs provide a predictable, long-term, and substantial market for nutritious agricultural products, which encourages farmers to invest in inputs and adopt methods to improve their yields over time. School meals policy can catalyze local dynamics and collaborative actions, through the creation of sustainable school meals programs that involve local governments, farmers, cooperatives and local communities, enabling linkages between education, nutrition and agriculture.
School Meals Support Community Development
Schools—especially primary schools—are ubiquitous, and serve as an excellent platform for efficiently and effectively reaching large numbers of needy children. Implementation of a school meal program provides an incentive for families to send their children to school and requires some level of community involvement—for the handling, storage, and preparation of food, at least. Programs often include a requirement for parent-teacher or other community meetings as well.