By Cara Myers - Director of Development and Innovation
1,684. This is the number of school lunches the Mozambique School Lunch Initiative has served to primary school students each day this year. Each one of these children shows up to school counting on our program each day, knowing they’ll get a hearty meal when they go to school.
Why is this important? Because...“Nothing destroys potential as savagely as hunger.Malnourished children are less able to concentrate and absorb information. They are also more likely to drop out of school, partly because they are not learning – and partly because poverty pushes them into work and child marriage.” This article from the Guardian describes exactly the situation we see in Mozambique, and is the driving motive behind our school lunch program.
Funding school lunch programs actually have an incredibly high return on investment. According to an analysis by the World Food Program, for every $1 invested in school meals, communities receive $9 in economic returns. How is this so?
Broadly speaking there are five pathways whereby school lunch programs generate positive returns:
School meals keep children, especially girls, in school. With more education, young people are able to seek better jobs and break out of poverty.
School meals provide essential nutrition. Growing up malnourished can have lifelong physical and cognitive repercussions.
School meals provide support to local farmers. By purchasing directly from local farmers, we ensure that our school lunch program also benefits the local community.
School meals support families in poverty. Knowing that their children can count on a meal at school enables parents to focus on other critical needs to support their children.
School meals create positive ripple effects, like reducing child marriages and child labor.
For all of these reasons, we are incredibly grateful for your generous support. We see the benefit the school lunch program has in the lives of the children we serve every day. We hope you feel connected and inspired by the impact of your donation.
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