This project will support a women-led initiative to cook healthy, fresh, and affordable meals and snacks for the 400 children at the local schools in Masara Village outside of Bethlehem. The project is important for the children's physical well-being as well as modeling the importance of nutrition and eating fresh, local food.
In 2008, a group of women became concerned about the food served to children in the village schools. They took over the cafeteria that serves children at the local kindergarten and schools and removed all of the junk food. These women wake up each day at 5:30am to cook food for the children but the children cannot afford to buy healthy food and after four years of getting small donations of flour or milk or meat from different farmers and shopkeepers, they have run out of places to turn.
The project will purchase basic necessities like flour, milk, meat, and vegetables so that the women can continue to serve healthy, fresh food in the school cafeteria. The project will also allow them to buy a new stove (they have to use rocks to balance their current one and it is unsafe) and other maintenance for the kitchen equipment.
This project is vital to the children's physical wellbeing as well as modeling the importance of nutrition and eating fresh, local food for the future. In a world where soda, chips, and candy are often the most affordable (and the preferred choice for many children), these children will grow up healthy and strong and will pass on the value of eating well to the next generation.