Every day, millions of children around the world go to school on an empty stomach. Hunge affects their concentration and ability to learn. There are also millions of children-particularly girls,who simply do not go to school. In conflict-affected countries, children are twice as likely to be out of school than their peers in stable countries. Our mission is to ensure that all school aged children have access to school meals and are healthy and ready to learn.
Almost 2 in 3 children between six months and two years of age are not fed food that supports their rapidly growing bodies and brains. This puts them at risk of poor brain development, weak learning, low immunity, increased infections and, in many cases, death. Frequent infections during early childhood, results in deficits in growth (stunting), limited psychosocial development, increased risk of mortality, and reduced learning capacity and productivity later in life among those that survive.
This program will relieve parents from having to budget for lunches, boost incomes and help to alleviate poverty. school meals represent 10 percent of the income of poor and vulnerable households, a significant saving for families with more than one child. In benefitting children and their families, school feeding and health help build what is known as 'human capital'-the sum of a population's health, skills, knowledge, experience and habits.
Better health and nutrition will allow children to learn and perform better, broadening their educational opportunities. School feeding and health programmes will also empower girls by dissuading parents from marrying them off early, which halts their education and can result in child pregnancies. School feeding programmes act as an incentive for families to enrol and keep children in school.