Bright Side provides year round nutritious plant-based meals to indigenous children in two regions of Taiwan who lack access to cooked meals on weekends when food programs do not provide services. For 7 years we have been combating malnutrition and food insecurity in our day camps on weekends by creating food with children to empower them with basic kitchen skills and to prevent hunger pangs. Funds also supports quarterly delivery of rice and other staple foods to 25 indigenous families.
Outside of school, 55.8% of kids do not get regular meals, or if they eat, rely on instant noodles or canned food. Numbers are higher for Taiwan's indigenous population already suffering from economic and social deficiencies, poverty rates quadruple that of the non-indigenous population, high unemployment rate and substandard education. With a huge flux of parents leaving tribal villages to work in cities, children are left behind with the elderly, putting them at higher risks of going hungry.
Our day camps on weekends provide free plant-based meals, creative education, and socialization opportunities so children will not go hungry. Children not only come for the meals but also have an empowerment opportunity to learn basic kitchen skill sets to make them and learn about nutrition so they may implement these skills in the future. Completed funding also secures delivery of food staples to families and the children to increase food security on a yearlong basis.
Food security and access to nutritious food is critical for positive long term physical, mental, and social-emotional development. Not having to worry about food also lessens the stress on a child, benefiting their ability to better concentrate and learn in the classroom. By starting with nutrition education one plant-based meal at a time combined with regular delivery of food staples to families in remote indigenous villages, they can come out ahead and break the cycle of food insecurity.
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