Spotlight: Quito Takes Healthy Food Project Citywide

Spotlight: Quito Takes Healthy Food Project Citywide

The city of Quito has been working with the Partnership since 2017 to implement healthy school food environments, with great success.

By the time the pandemic shut down schools in 2020, the 20 schools in the Partnership-supported “Pilas con Vitaminas” project had banned junk food and sugary drinks from their school stores, in addition to schoolyard marketing of such products. During the pandemic, aspects of the program were able to move online with "Pilas" trainings for school staff, targeted communications campaigns and more.

Quito joined the Policy Accelerator in 2021 to take this 20-school project citywide by pursuing a comprehensive policy on healthy school food environments.

In April 2023, then Mayor Santiago Guarderas announced at a launch event that he was passing a draft policy to the city council, developed through the Policy Accelerator, to ban advertisement of unhealthy products in all public schools and implement national nutritional guidelines.

Also announced at the launch were the installation of water fountains in the 20 original “Pilas” schools, a communication campaign on the harms of sugary drink consumption and a certification program for food vendors outside schools.

"The support of the Partnership for Healthy Cities in terms of creating public policies is extremely valuable, since the experiences of other cities in the world that have travelled further along the road help us to learn numerous lessons and strengthen initiatives that positively impact our children."

– Former Secretary of Health Francisco Viteri

Image: Former Mayor Santiago Guarderas (center) and other city officials join a young student at one of the new school water fountains installed as part of the project.