SOURCE: Global Child Nutrition Foundation

July 17, 2008 09:06 ET

Delegates From 14 Countries Meet to Discuss Global School Feeding Efforts

PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwire - July 17, 2008) - Philadelphia will take on an international flavor this week as 20 delegates representing 14 nations convene in the city from July 17 to 22, 2008 for the 10th annual meeting of the Global Child Nutrition Forum.

This year, the Global Child Nutrition Foundation (GCNF) is partnering with child nutrition leaders from governmental, non-governmental, and private sector companies. For the first time since the Forum's inception, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) are major supporters. Other partnering organizations include the United Nations World Food Programme, Joint Aid Management, Solae, Tetra Pak and Schwan's Food Service.

The purpose of the Forum is to assist leaders in developing countries start or expand school feeding programs. This year's theme is "Building the Link: Sustainable School Feeding and Local Farm Production." Delegates to the Forum will share information, seek remedies to common problems, and provide current information on global challenges such as food safety, program sustainability, foodservice management, program operations and nutrition. Following the Forum, delegates will be able to return to their countries with the skills and knowledge to build sustainable school feeding programs.

The meeting is especially timely this year, as rising food prices worldwide have sparked an international food crisis, with many international organizations cutting food aid to countries. On Friday, July 18th, delegates will hear a panel of experts discuss the international food crisis and its effect on the problem of global hunger.

The Forum is the GCNF's flagship program. During the past nine years, 173 international delegates from over 60 countries have participated in the Forum and returned to their countries with information, skills, and plans to advance school feeding. Philadelphia is playing host to an international array of child nutrition experts from South Africa, Mozambique, Bolivia, Uganda, India, Guatemala, Jordan and several other nations. In 2009, the Forum will be held in South Africa.

The Global Child Nutrition Foundation, established in 2007, is a non-profit corporation whose mission is to expand opportunities for the world's children to receive adequate nutrition for learning and achieving their potential.

The School Nutrition Association (SNA) is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 55,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country. Founded in 1946, SNA is the only association devoted exclusively to protecting and enhancing children's health and well being through school meals and sound nutrition education.

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