For the first time in its history, the Forum will be held on Canadian soil, which was made possible thanks to the Breakfast Club of Canada, serving as the host organization.
Organized annually by the Global Child Nutrition Foundation (GCNF) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Centre of Excellence against Hunger, this five-day event will bring together nearly 300 leaders from 50 countries, hailing from the political, humanitarian, community and institutional realms. The mission of the Forum is to help governments around the world build national school meal programs that are locally-sourced and country-operated. Attendees will take part in various workshops and conferences designed to:
• Build the capacity of governments to implement national school meal programs;
• Engage businesses to strengthen supply chains and increase political will for school meal programs; and
• Strengthen the field – among nonprofits, schools and researchers – to raise awareness and ensure strong support and resourcing for school meal programs.
Global Child Nutrition Foundation
The Global Child Nutrition Foundation is a global network of governments, businesses and civil society organizations working together to support school meal programs that help children and communities thrive. GCNF provides training, technical assistance, and sharing opportunities to help governments build national school meal programs that are nutritious, locally-sourced and ultimately independent from international aid.
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.
GCNF supports locally-sourced school meal programs that develop markets for smallholder farmers and create opportunities for female entrepreneurs. To do this, we:
- Build the capacity of governments to implement national school meal programs
- Engage businesses to strengthen supply chains and increase political will for school meal programs, and
- Coordinate with others in the field – nonprofits, schools and researchers – to raise awareness and ensure strong support and resourcing for school meal programs
Visit GCNF website: http://gcnf.org
WFP Centre of Excellence
The WFP Centre of Excellence against Hunger sprouts from the joint engagement of Brazil and WFP to spur South-South cooperation and strengthen the global efforts to end hunger. Culminating in a partnership to support governments in Africa, Asia and Latin America to forge sustainable solutions of their own, the WFP Centre is a global hub for south-south cooperation, and for knowledge building, capacity development and policy dialogue regarding food and nutrition security, social protection and school meals.
The Centre was established in Brasilia in 2011, and currently supports some 30 countries in a continuous and long-term basis. Tools and activities include technical missions for countries, support to regional workshops and international seminars, engagement in regional and global networks and knowledge production and exchange for countries to share challenges and innovative approaches to address the multi-dimensional issues of poverty and hunger.
The African continent, where most of the Centre’s support is currently concentrated, has achieved an important milestone in early 2016. The Heads of State, during the African Union Summit held in January 2016, approved a recommendation from the African Union Commission for Education, Science and Human Resources to bolster school meals programmes throughout the continent and recognizing the integration with local production of smallholder farmers as a fruitful vector of inclusive development. A continental network of governments for school meals was also established in 2015, combining efforts with the African Union to support governments to improve or create their national school meals programmes. Such achievements underpin stronger government-led policies to tackle hunger and poverty.
Since 2013 the WFP Centre is a partner with the Global Child Development Foundation in organizing the most important forum on child nutrition in the world. The WFP Centre is also looking forward to engage in regional networks and explore all south-south cooperation opportunities to support countries worldwide and move forward on the Sustainable Development Goals.
Visit WFP Centre of Excellence website: http://www1.wfp.org
Breakfast Club of Canada
For 22 years, Breakfast Club of Canada has been nourishing children’s potential by making sure as many of them as possible have access to a healthy morning meal before school, in an environment that allows their self-esteem to grow and flourish. But the Club is much more than a breakfast program: we take a broader approach that promotes the core values of engagement, enrichment and empowerment, and we team up with communities and local partners to develop solutions adapted to their specific needs. Operating from coast to coast, the Breakfast Club of Canada helps feed more than 163,000 students every day in 1,535 schools.
Visit Breakfast Club of Canada website: http://www.breakfastclubcanada.org