School meals have multiple benefits and there is hard evidence that supports this claim. However, due to the multi-faceted nature of school meals, it is difficult to obtain a complete overview of the evidence. This paper attempts to give such an overview. It collects existing, independent evidence of the benefits and impacts of school meals and uses the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as thematic areas to organize the evidence. The paper also gives an indication of the specific targets to which school meals can contribute. The paper shows how school meals can contribute directly to SDG2, SDG4 and SDG5 and indirectly to SDG1, SDG8 and SDG10. Each section starts with a short explanation of the link between school meals and the SDG and then goes on to list a selection of evidence that supports this link. The evidence cited in each section is by no means exhaustive but is selected because of its broad geographical coverage or because of its clear link to the SDG in question. The paper and the selection of evidence are updated on a continuous basis.
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