Healthy School Food

Sustainable Food Systems and the SDGs

Food Secure Canada and partners, 2021-2024

Led by the Coalition for Healthy School Food

Screenshot 2024-05-02 At 11.49.47Our approach

In April 2024, $1 billion dollars in federal funding for a National School Food Program was announced. Food Secure Canada and the Coalition for Healthy School Food celebrate this major victory. The SDG lens on school food advanced to federal policy-makers through this project from 2021 – 2024 contributed to this historic win.

From the outset, Food Secure Canada & the Coalition for Healthy School Food used the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals to inform recommendations about the best designs for school food programs. To learn more about the relationship between school food and the SDGs we recommend theinitial primer on School Food and the Sustainable Development Goals: A pathway to meeting multiple goals and targets (2021) and the SDG School Food wheel, reproduced below.




Highlights of the work of the Coalition for Healthy School Food with its members and partners includes :

Reports & Policy Briefings 

  • Young Canadians Roundtable on Health (2021)  School-age focus groups in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and British Columbia about school food programs and the SDGs.
  • Universal School Food Research & Policy Brief (2022) The Single Mother’s Alliance of British Columbia held three focus groups with parents about why school food programs were important to them, using the SDG framework to guide the discussions.
  • With School Food commitments in two mandate letters following the 2021 election, SDG-informed policy analysis and recommendations included:
  • Proposals for a National School Nutritious Meal Program,(2022) recommendations to government, annexing the School Food SDG wheel.
  • Pre-Budget Written Briefs in 2022, 2023 and 2024 
  • Over the last three years the Coalition has used the SDG School Food Wheel in over 50 presentations to federal decision-makers as a tool to talk about the many benefits that can be achieved with well-designed school food programs. This includes at the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health (HESA), written Brief and testimony (2022).
  • Briefing civil society members of the Canadian Food Policy Advisory Council (CFPAC) and supporting its Working Group on School Food, as the co-orgaiser of expert briefings.
  • The Coalition and Food Secure Canada worked together to include healthy school food in cross-cutting SDG-informed policy processes including Eat Think Vote and the civil society Town Halls on the Food Policy for Canada.

Screenshot 2024-05-02 At 11.36.10Screenshot 2024-05-02 At 11.36.22

Events & Webinars 


  • The Coalition hosted more than ten webinars, knowledge-gathering events, and national stakeholder roundtables with members and representatives across the charitable sector to discuss the intersection between the SDGs and school food programs. Including:
    • Regional events in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec
    • Discusions with the Indigenous Working Group 
    • National members events in 2021 and 2022.


Media Coverage Highlights 

Here is a link to the Coalition for Healthy School Food’s press releases.


The Coalition for Healthy School Food is the largest school food network in Canada. We are over 300 non-profit member organizations, and 140 endorser organizations from every province and territory. Hosted by Food Secure Canada.

Project lead Debbie Field presented the work of this action area at the public webinar Advancing the SDGs Through Canada’s Food Systems, timestamp 1:50 at the link.


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