About us




In Armenia, the issue of healthy and balanced nutrition for schoolchildren is of current importance. It is with this objective in mind that the “Sustainable School Feeding” program was launched, initially kicking off in 2010 with the efforts of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), under the financial patronage of the Russian Federation and with the technical support of Russia’s Branch Nutrition Institute. On August 22, 2013, the Government of the Republic of Armenia (RA) approved by Protocol Decision №33 the Strategy of the “Sustainable School Nutrition” program and the action plan for its implementation.

Phases of the program implementation:

  • Provision of Ingredients: Initially, the WFP provided schools with six types of dry ingredients for independent preparation of hot meals.
  • Assessment and Reconstruction: The Branch Nutrition Institute assessed the condition of school dining facilities, identifying the necessity and cost of renovation work.
  • Supply of Building Materials: After determining the needs, the WFP organized the delivery of building materials, and the schools independently carried out the reconstruction of their dining facilities.
  • Technical Equipment: Following the renovation, the Russian Federation, as a project partner, supplied the necessary technical equipment for kitchens and dining areas.
  • Community Engagement: Parents and other local stakeholders joined the program, assisting in the procurement of tables, chairs, utensils, and other necessary materials.
  • Transition to Cash Module: Schools that completed the reconstruction transitioned to receiving funds from the RA state budget, amounting to 171 drams per student, which allowed for an expansion in the list of purchased products to 20 items and enabled on-site meal preparation.
  • Since 2015, the management of the program has gradually shifted to the hands of the RA government. By January 2023, the program had been fully nationalized and now covers 10 districts of the republic, providing balanced nutrition for more than 102,000 children.
  • To ensure the quality of nutrition, the menu has been developed based on 20 core products purchased with state funds. The list of products is further enhanced through parent and local fund initiatives, including essential components such as fresh fruits and vegetables. An “Additional Menu” has been developed for schools that have extra resources, allowing for the intelligent introduction of more diverse dishes and products into the school nutrition regimen.

To ensure the quality of nutrition, a menu was developed based on 20 primary products purchased with state funds. The product list is further complemented by initiatives from parents and local foundations, including essential components such as fresh fruits and vegetables. An “Additional Menu” was developed for schools with extra resources, allowing for the introduction of a variety of additional dishes and products into the school nutrition regimen.

In 2021, an active training process for all stakeholders of the program began. Chefs and directors underwent specialized courses to enhance their qualifications. Courses on healthy school nutrition are also conducted for parents. This phase was crucial not only for knowledge transfer but also for establishing a common standard of nutrition quality in schools. Intensive monitoring visits and supervisory missions ensured that new standards and methods were correctly applied in practice.

2022 marked a significant year due to collaboration with the United Nations World Food Programme. An educational program for school lessons on “healthy eating and physical activity” was developed as part of the mandatory healthy lifestyle club for students in grades 5-9. This project not only enriched the curriculum but also became a platform for educational and creative events, with the participation of over 3,500 people.

However, this year was not only filled with positive moments. The rise in food prices triggered a response from the Government of the Republic of Armenia. The increase in food funding from 120 to 171 drams was a clear testament to the government’s commitment to this important program.

By 2023, the program entered a new phase: the project was fully nationalized, and all its aspects came under state financial guardianship. This change ensured that each of the 102 thousand primary school students in the regions would receive hot and balanced nutrition daily.

From the beginning of the project’s implementation, school cooks were selected from among local community residents. After undergoing training, they worked for a symbolic reward. However, as a result of the introduction of new legal regulations, starting from September 2023, the position of school cook was added to the school’s staff list, and cooks receive an appropriate salary.

The next strategic goal is to implement the school nutrition program in the country’s capital, Yerevan. Research on the infrastructural capabilities of Yerevan schools and surveys of parents were conducted to adapt and identify successful models of school nutrition in an urban context.

Օur Goals

Establishing a comprehensive school nutrition program that ensures

the provision of a varied and healthful diet

Ensuring the provision of wholesome, nutritious, and well-balanced meals

to elementary school students in Armenia.

Fostering human capital development and ensuring the delivery of social protection services

Guaranteeing educational opportunities for children from socially disadvantaged backgrounds

Our Partners

Since its inception in 2010, the Foodservice Institute of the Russian Federation (SIFI) has played a pivotal role as a technical partner to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). SIFI has been instrumental in the execution of the “Development of Sustainable School Feeding” program in Armenia, an initiative generously funded by the Russian Federation.

The orchestration of school nutrition services is an intricate endeavour that demands a multidimensional strategy. SIFI’s contributions to the project encompass a thorough evaluation of the infrastructure of educational institutions and their dining facilities, tailoring individual plans for the modernization of culinary units, formulating nutritional recipes for student meals, and conducting specialized events and educational programs for the managerial and culinary staff of schools. Additionally, SIFI aids in fortifying and refining the legislative framework governing school nutrition.

The welfare of the project’s beneficiaries remains a central focus. In a concerted effort with its affiliates, SIFI is dedicated to nurturing the health and well-being of school-aged children. This is achieved by imparting essential knowledge about nutritious diets through a series of engaging activities, including thematic festivals, interactive educational sessions, and the observance of “Healthy Food Weeks” within the school environment.

The “Sustainable School Nutrition Fund,” established by the Government of the Republic of Armenia in 2016, aimed to facilitate the transition to a National Program and the development of the “Sustainable School Nutrition Program.” In 2020, the Fund was renamed the “National Center for Educational Development and Innovation.” Within its framework, the “School Nutrition and Child Welfare Agency” was created, with the primary goal of improving healthcare and social protection, as well as ensuring quality school education.

The mission of the “School Nutrition and Child Welfare Agency” is to support the state in enhancing the effectiveness of school nutrition, to attract a broader range of advocates for the organization of school meals, and to develop school dining facilities.

The Agency doesn’t function merely as a coordinator or executor of the program. It serves as a bridge between the state, educational institutions, local communities, and international partners. Its task is to make the school nutrition system not just effective but also sustainable, focusing on the healthy development of every child.

The annual plans of the Agency reflect a strategic approach to the implementation and development of the program. Training courses and expert support ensure quality and standards at all stages of the project’s execution.

However, the Agency doesn’t stop at formal aspects. Creating a community around the concept of healthy nutrition and child welfare unites all participants in the process: from educators and parents to local entrepreneurs and donors. This comprehensive approach guarantees the holistic development of the system.

In rural areas, where many aspects of social and economic life remain unresolved, one serving of hot food can become a catalyst for change. It’s not just about nutrition – it’s a stimulus for local business, new job creation, educational initiatives, and, importantly, shaping children’s conscientious approach to their own health. Overall, the “School Nutrition and Child Welfare Agency” demonstrates how a comprehensive and strategic approach can transform the field of school nutrition, making it part of a broad system of education, health, and social development of the country.

Established in 1961, the World Food Programme (WFP) was created with the profound aspiration to ensure that every individual—man, woman, and child—has consistent access to the necessary food for a dynamic and healthy existence.

In 2010, the Government of the Republic of Armenia (RA), together with the WFP and strategic collaborators, embarked on an initiative to enhance nutrition, education, and social security by reintroducing the Sustainable School Feeding program. This initiative empowers educational institutions to procure an assortment of edibles directly from local marketplaces, leveraging cash transfers to facilitate these transactions. This approach has substantially bolstered the resilience of small-scale food producers within communities, yielding a favourable impact on local economic development.

The project has galvanized increased participation from the community, parents, private sector entities, and both international and national civil society organizations in the scholastic sphere. The program has transformed schools into dynamic hubs that foster inclusivity, health-conscious practices, nutritional awareness, and robustness. This transformation is a direct contributor to the enhancement of health standards, educational outcomes, social welfare, and productivity within Armenia.

From 2019 to 2024, the WFP’s Sustainable School Feeding program is set to continue its investment in human capital, aiming to amplify health, education, social protection, and productivity across the nation of Armenia.