Lions Clubs International Foundation and World Food Program USA Launch Joint Initiative to Support School Meals in Four Countries

Photo: WFP/Gonzalo Ruiz/2024
Published April 15, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 15, 2024) – World Food Program USA and Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) are pleased to announce a $4 million partnership in support of the United Nations World Food Programme’s homegrown school meals program in four countries. With each organization contributing $2 million to this joint effort, the grant will be a global collaboration, bringing together an international coalition of individuals committed to solving global hunger.

“This is an important investment in our collective future,” said Barron Segar, president and CEO of World Food Program USA. “Today, we are facing a global food crisis of unprecedented proportions and kids are paying the price. Outside of the U.S., 153 million children under 18 are facing extreme levels of malnutrition. Through this partnership with the Lions Clubs International Foundation, we will work to ensure that more children get the nutrition needed for both them and their communities to thrive.”

Homegrown school meal programs are a multisectoral game changer that has proven over decades to improve children’s education, health and nutrition. When integrated into the local community, school meals have been shown to benefit the entire community by providing an important safety net and by strengthening food systems and economies. By further integrating with local small-scale farmers, local economies benefit, and a better-designed food system is created that also leads to impacts across gender, climate, and sustainability.

“Lions worldwide have a long history of working to improve food security and access to nutritious food, and there are no limits to what we can achieve when we unite for good. We are proud to partner with World Food Program USA to expand our collective reach,” said LCIF Chairperson Brian E. Sheehan. “Together, through this important partnership, we can work towards a future where no child will ever have to live without knowing when their next meal will come.”

The U.N. World Food Programme is the world’s largest provider of school meals, working with communities, governments and private sector partners to jointly ensure that all primary schoolchildren have access to good quality meals in schools. It is one of the most essential and efficient safety nets for communities, increasing enrollment, improving health, bettering gender equality and creating more robust markets for local food producers.

LCIF has a global presence, connecting the Lions’ humanitarian mission of service to partners and allowing them to scale their impact across the world. The grant announced today will support school meal programs in four countries: Nepal, Sri Lanka, Uganda and Ecuador. In taking on this initiative, the Foundation will support a large-scale humanitarian program across three continents that addresses the most urgent unmet need of school-age children, positively impacting quality of life for entire communities.

About World Food Program USA

World Food Program USA, a 501(c)(3) organization based in Washington, D.C., proudly supports the mission of the United Nations World Food Programme by mobilizing American policymakers, businesses and individuals to advance the global movement to end hunger. Our leadership and support help to bolster an enduring American legacy of feeding families in need around the world. To learn more about World Food Program USA’s mission, please visit

About Lions Clubs International Foundation

Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) is the global foundation supporting the 1.4 million members of Lions Clubs International through grant funds that expand their compassionate works and empower their service at home and around the world. Since its founding in 1968, LCIF has awarded more than 20,000 grants totalling more than $1.2 billion. We improve health and wellbeing, strengthen communities and support those in need, locally and globally. Learn more about who we are and what we do at

Media Contacts

Abigail Seiler, World Food Program USA

Andrea Small, Lions Clubs International Foundation