In 2021, the first United Nations Summit on Food Systems (UNFSS) took place to address food security and food systems’ sustainability and their contribution to achieve the SDG’s. These issues are widely recognised to be among the most significant challenges humanity is facing today alongside associated issues such as climate change and biodiversity loss. 

Many people lack access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food. Furthermore, food has enormous social, cultural and political significance influencing how policies are formulated and how pathways to a more just and sustainable food system are identified. 

In preparation of and during the summit, actors at many levels, government representatives, civil society, the research community, and the private sector, engaged in discussions which resulted in several coalitions taking a systems approach to create networks, share knowledge, coordinate actions and achieve impact of policy schemes. Among them the “School Meals Coalition: Nutrition, Health and Education for Every Child” was established, and actively supported by most states. It is accompanied by an Global Research Consortium for School Health and Nutrition led by Professor Donald Bundy (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine). 

This coalition approach is of great interest to develop best practices concerning transformational research and systematic evaluation of the impact of interventions to achieve transformation. 

Download the programme here

The  following presentations are available:

Research Consortium for School-Health and Nutrition: Promoting credible and independent research to inform evidence-based decision-making on school health and nutrition.
Professor Donald Bundy, Director, Research Consortium for School Health and Nutrition, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

School meals to improve the nutrition and health status as well as knowledge and skills related to food – School meals as a social innovation in Finland: investment in effective learning.
Heli Kuusipalo, Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare

A whole school approach to promoting children’s dietary behaviour and health through school meals interventions: a review of the evidence.
Bent Egberg Mikkelsen, Urban food Systems Transformation, Copenhagen Univeristy

School meals as a lever to promote food systems’ sustainability – the environmental and economic dimension, territorial development and socio-cultural education.                                                 Maurizio Mariani, Eating City

Addressing social and environmental resilience through school meals: the SF4C project                                                                                                                                                                                      Manuel Franco MD, PhD School of Medicine, University of Alcala, Spain

Sustainable school meals for (and with) the students.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Minna Kaljonen, Finnish Environment Institute

Please, find the link to the recording of the event here