Provision of School Meals Across the EU

An Overview of Rationales, Evidence, Facilitators and Barriers

Published in: European Commission website (2021). doi: 10.2767/346782

Posted on RAND.org on October 01, 2021

by Michaela Bruckmayer, Natalie Picken, Lillian Flemons

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This research note was produced as part of the European Platform for Investing in Children (EPIC). Established in 2013, EPIC monitors key and innovative developments in child and family policy across the European Union (EU). The platform hosts resources to support Member States (MS) in the implementation of the 2013 European Commission Recommendation, Investing in children: breaking the cycle of disadvantage (European Commission 2013). The Recommendation's overarching objective is 'combating child poverty and social exclusion and promoting child well-being' (European Commission 2013). It consists of three main pillars, which are: 1) access to adequate resources; 2) accesses to affordable quality services; and 3) children's rights to participate.

The issue of nutrition is also addressed by the Council recommendation establishing the European Child Guarantee, which calls upon MS, amongst others, to provide children in need with free and effective access to at least one healthy school meal each school day, as well as effective access to healthy nutrition. The European Child Guarantee recommendation was adopted unanimously on 14 June 2021, and its implementation will be closely monitored by the European Commission.

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