KinderUSA's Nutritional Meals for Kindergartens provides 1500 children attending 12 kindergartens (aged 4-6) in marginalized and war-torn regions of Gaza with nutritious meals at school three times a week during the spring (February - May) and fall (September - November) 2017 school semesters. The project simultaneously provides training in food production for 23 female heads of household, employing 5 hearing impaired women as trainers in the project to prepare the meals,
The current situation for children in Gaza has worsened due to repeated conflicts in the region, along with border closures for crossings. Families living close to the border regions are particularly vulnerable. According to the World Health Organization, 30% or (186 millions of children) under six years of age are stunted and 18% or (115 million) of those children are underweight at birth with reason being malnutrition which is behind 35% of diseases affecting children under the age of 5
The Nutritional Meals for Kindergartens project provides nutritionally prepared meals to 1500 children who many instances eat only 1 meal a day consisting of bread and tea. Many of these children, aged 4-6 yrs old, have been diagnosed with anemia and other nutritional related illnesses. In addition to female heads of household preparing the meals, mothers are required to attend 5 nutritional cooking classes during the program to implement at home.
This project will continue for 2 years in order to follow the growth and performance of the child. Further, we have witnessed a marked improvement in the diet at home of the families who now opt for vegetables and fruit rather than starchy, sugary foods.