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To strengthen the work of the global school meal network, GCNF conducted a Global Survey of School Meal Programs in 2019. This will be conducted every two to three years thereafter. The survey asks a standard set of questions and 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).

Explore the report School Meal Programs Around the World, a deep dive into the data gathered in the 2019 Global Survey of School Meal Programs

The 2019 Global Survey of School Meal Programs Questionnaire was made available in PDF format (with email submission) in several languages. 
The PDF format survey is available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

Contact Us

If you would like to serve as your country’s Focal Point or share your questions or feedback, please get in contact:

Global Child Nutrition Foundation
P.O. Box 99435
Seattle, WA 98139-0435
Office: +1 (206) 258-6749
Toll-Free: +1 (866) 255-8049

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 school feeding activities in each country 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 2019 Global Child Nutrition Forum at a discounted rate.

*While aware of distinctions that may exist between the terms school meal, school feeding, and school nutrition (programs), we are using school feeding throughout most of this survey as we aim to capture core information regarding all such programs.

Supporting Organizations

GCNF wishes to thank all who have been involved in the development, testing, and implementation of this Global Survey to date:

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 thanks its generous donors – especially the GCNF Business Network members and the Stuart Family Foundation – for their support.
Their investments in GCNF have been critical to our proceeding with this project.

Other Contributors

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.

African Union Development Agency (AUDA)
Catholic Relief Services (CRS)
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Republic of Benin

Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal

Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe

The United States of America

The United Nations:

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) School Food and Nutrition Task Force

World Food Programme (WFP)

World Health Organization (WHO)


Colby College

Imperial College

Seattle University

St. Mary’s College

Syracuse University

University of Ottawa

University of Washington

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