The School Meals Programme

Eating well = Better Learning

Every child deserves to develop as well as possible. This is why it’s great that the School Meals Programme is continuing in 2024.

What is the goal?

The goal is for students to have all the energy to attend classes. A well-filled stomach is necessary for this. Through the School Meals Programme, students don’t have to sit in class without food.

Who organises the School Meal Programme?

The Youth Education Fund and the Red Cross organise this programme. We are doing this together with the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW), the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW) and the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS).
On this website, you will be able to find all the information and tips about the School Meals Programme. Schools that have not yet registered for the programme but do qualify to join, can still register. In this manner, we can reach more students together.
School meals


Do you work at a school? Click here for more information about the programme for schools.

Do you want to register your school ?

Register through this link ↓


Parents/ Caregivers

Are you a parent/caregiver? Click here for more information about the programme for parents/caregivers.



Participating schools



Schools – Meals at School



Schools – Grocery Cards

Laatst geupdatet 24-06-’24

School Meals Programme

With a filled stomach in class

Every child deserves the chance to develop as well as possible. Where someone grows up or the income of their family should not have any influence. Currently the high prices are causing many families financial worries. For example, food and energy are expensive. This is why it has become more common for students to not bring food to school. A filled stomach is necessary to keep your focus. This way, a student can learn with all their energy and without stress.

Organising the School Meals Programme

The school Meals Programme is an initiative of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW). The programme is organised in collaboration with the Youth Education Fund and the Dutch Red Cross. Both organisations have a lot of experience with such programmes.

For whom?

The goal is to help as many young children and youth that need this, as possible in 2024. It targets children from primary and secondary education.

Two Options

The School Meals Programme offers a variety of options. This way schools can see which option suits their students, organisation and possibilities best. Does the school want to organise or deliver lunch, fruit or healthy snacks? Or is it better if the parents/caregivers receive a grocery card? This way they can buy extra food themselves for their children to take to school.
During their registration, schools can choose from these two options:
  1. Eating at school – the school organises this. The school can request the costs back from the programme.
  2. Grocery Cards for parents/caregivers. There is money on this card that the parent/caregiver can use to buy extra food for their children to bring to school.
Schools decide which option they want to use. They can register through this link.

Who are we?

Meet the Netherlands Red Cross

The Netherlands Red Cross is committed to helping people in need. It is the world’s largest voluntary association of people offering support. There is always someone near you to help you should you need any help. The Netherlands Red Cross wants to protect people from having to suffer. Therefore, special attention is dedicated to the most vulnerable. In case of an emergency, the Netherlands Red Cross aims to improve the situation for everyone involved. This is always done respectfully. No one should stand alone in times of need.

Blik over de schouder van een leraar naar een schoolklas met 6 leerlingen met lesboeken op tafel

Meet the Youth Education Fund

Each child should have the opportunity to develop to the best of his/her potential. The Youth Education Fund (het Jeugdeducatiefonds) increases opportunities for children growing up in poverty by partnering with schools. Do the majority of the pupils come from low-income families? If so, the Youth Education Fund offers additional support and funding. This allows schools to give children what they need. This may take the form of individual support, such as glasses, books or money for a school trip. Or support for the whole class, such as learning materials, food and drink or extra tuition. The school and the children are always the primary focus of this approach.