Impoverished school children in rural Kenya can't do well in school when they are hungry. Hunger is the reason many primary school children miss school, or have difficulty paying attention and learning well when in class. Our school lunch program partners with 18 primary schools to assure that at least 3200 orphans and vulnerable children have a healthy meal while at school. Parents and guardians are hired to prepare and serve the meal, providing needed family income.
Extreme poverty and the AIDS pandemic ravaged rural western Kenya. In some schools, 50% of the students have lost a parent to disease. Surviving family members struggle to provide even basic necessities such as food. Hungry children miss school either because they don't feel well, or because they are looking for work to earn money for food. Even when they attend class, hungry children do not perform well. School teachers say, "To keep our kids in school, we must deal with their hunger."
The project has partnered with 18 primary schools to provide a daily school lunch for needy children. The project provides maize and beans, and the schools provide supplementary vegetables, cooking oil, and fuel. Children's guardians prepare and serve the school lunch, providing some much-needed income for the family.
We feed at least 3,200 children a nutritious meal every school day, allowing them to attend school regularly and improving their academic performance. With food and an education, these children are healthier and living up to their full potential.