Délice network

SchoolFood4Change built solid foundation for school food system change

January 30, 2023

Whole School Food Approach developed

Since January 2022, Délice, along with 42 other partners, has been an active partner of the SchoolFood4Change (SF4C) program. And now, one year into the project, here are our achievements...




Since January 2022, the SchoolFood4Change program has made so much progress.

During the first year of the EU-wide project, SchoolFood4Change (SF4C) successfully laid the foundation for shifting school food to a new paradigm. SF4C mapped the school food systems of all 12 participating EU countries, developed a framework for a Whole School Food Approach which brings all school food actors to one table and provided a well-founded definition of a “sustainable school food system”. The project’s advancement attracted cities and schools inside and beyond the EU, which are interested in replicating the SF4C approach and continuing the success story of healthier and more sustainable school food. 

SchoolFood4Change mapped the school food systems of 16 cities and regions in all 12 participating EU countries. The mapping explored the procurement and provision of school food, disclosing the national legal framework and innovative approaches, organisational and business structures as well as operational performance regarding the delivery of school meals. The results are immensely varied across all metrics. Some examples: Most schools in the studied cities and regions provide a daily lunch, six local governments also serve breakfast and seven provide some snacks during the day. The cost of school meals range between 1 and 8 Euros per meal. In most cities and regions that participated in the mapping, the provision of school food is partly or fully subsidised for at least the most vulnerable groups of students. The diverse approaches show that there are no mutual European standards or best practices for neither the financial, organizational nor legal structures in providing healthy and sustainable school meals across Europe. The school food system mapping serves as a baseline for progress mapping during the further course of the project. 

The project consortium has also successfully developed the framework of the Whole School Food Approach (WSFA). It is a concept that accompanies schools' change processes, enabling them to offer, promote an empower pupils in making healthier and sustainable food choices. The WSFA-framework, available in 13 different languages, serves as a reference and practical method for schools, cities, and regions in creating a healthy and sustainable food culture in schools. The Whole School Food Approach engages the entire school community - including pupils, teachers, caregivers and the wider community.  The project has also developed a set of criteria which help schools to become a school where food is seen holistically, i.e. not only as a consumer good, but also as teaching content and a lever to promote sustainability. SchoolFood4Change aims at achieving a long-lasting impact by including food in all aspects of school life, such as governance, policy, education, dining and collaboration with the nearby community. It is a work in progress but starting in 2023, 80 schools across Europe will start piloting the approach and its complementary activities. The framework and criteria will be reviewed and improved during the course of the project. 

Read more about the Whole School Food Approach on the SchoolFood4Change website and access the publication here

For the first time ever, SchoolFood4Change (SF4C) defined the terms “sustainable school food system” (SSFS) and “healthy, sustainable school diets” (HSSD). These definitions, with a focus on schools, children and adolescents, were lacking in scientific and political discourse and have now been agreed upon among all project partners. Both definitions will facilitate debate and action on improving school meals and therefore also serve to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Read the definitions and further information on our website: “SUSTAINABLE SCHOOL FOOD SYSTEM” AND “SCHOOL DIETS” DEFINED 



Learn More

For further information and inquiries:  

Visit the SF4C website
Contact in Délice Network:
Camille Chaumeron-Jourdan, Délice Program Developer / ccj@delice-network.com




The SchoolFood4Change project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 101036763.  The sole responsibility for the content lies with the authors. The content does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European commission. The European Commission is also not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.