A Haitian proverb states "A hungry child cannot hear what you are saying." When children come to school hungry, they struggle to hear or learn. We believe that one of the most important components of educating children is providing a nutritious meal at school. For most, this is their ONE and ONLY meal that day. This lunch is life-sustaining and saves 3,000 children from starvation and malnutrition. Just 35 cents will provide a child with a strengthening meal and meet a most vital need.
With the average Haitian living on ~$2 a day, most families find it difficult to feed the members of their family. Most children come to school without eating breakfast and often have little or no food for dinner. What is the one thing that teachers say impacts a child's ability to learn? Hunger.
By preparing a hot, nutritious meal for children each day, we can ensure that the children have the energy and cognitive ability to listen to their teacher and learn. Local food is purchased which boosts the local economy and parents volunteer to prepare the food. What is served? A bowl of rice (or corn) and beans, with a high-protein mix of tomato paste, dried herring or vegetables, oil, seasoning, and water.
Our teachers are thrilled because the Lunch Program has transformative benefits for the children they teach. They tell us that children rarely miss a day of school, are more focused in class, and are scoring higher on exams. As we educate these children, we are preparing them to become outstanding leaders who can help to break the cycle of systemic poverty in Haiti. Feeding children is an investment and will ultimately bring the change and hope that Haiti desperately needs.
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