Walk into any grocery store in South Africa, and it's as if you were right here in the United States-choices beyond choices and plenty for all. Yet that abundance is not reaching the children and families who need it most. Half of all households experience hunger, 1 in 4 children are stunted, and half of all children show signs of wasting. By providing a nutritious meal to 200 orphans and vulnerable children each day, we can help reverse the negative trends of malnutrition and child health.
In some places in South Africa, 82% of people lack access to enough food. On top of that, many people are poor, and the cost of food is rising rapidly. This puts children and family in poverty (i.e., those living on less than $2 per day) at greater risk for food insecurity. When they're food insecure, children don't get the nutrients they need to protect their bodies from illnesses, like TB. They also don't get the vitamins and minerals needed to promote healthy development.
We will address this issue by delivering 5 meals to orphans and vulnerable children each week. These meals will be fortified with much-needed vitamins and minerals. We'll also grow our own fruits and vegetables to supplement the feeding program. Because poverty connects closely with food insecurity, we'll build the capacity of a grassroots team to address this issue, connecting children and families to vital government services and measuring the impact of the project in the community.
We're using the latest data on food insecurity and malnutrition in South Africa to guide our work. We seek to lower the rate of malnutrition in the Zonkizizwe community and ward off preventable diseases. And we hope that over time our efforts will be seen as a model for success that can be scaled throughout the country. More importantly, however, we want what any family and community would want: happy, healthy children that grow to be capable, engaged adults.
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