The Pueblo a Pueblo School Lunch Project has expanded this year from one to three schools in the Santiago Atitlan region of Guatemala. Now a daily hot lunch is provided to nearly 600 students in the schools of Panabaj (262 students), Chacaya (134) and La Cumbre (160). Students are benefiting from lunches including meat, vegetables, and beans, which provide important nutritional benefits not otherwise available to them at home. In the coming year, and with your support, Pueblo a Pueblo hopes to expand our program to provide valuable nutritional lunches in an additional two schools, contributing to increases in health as well as academic performance and attendance.
There are 260 children enrolled in the Panabaj Elementary School this year, all of whom are benefiting from the 2011 School Lunch Program thanks to continued donations. The students are in school from 8am until 12:30 and many of them don’t have breakfast before going to school. Without the lunch program, children who are lucky enough to have a couple of quetzales ($0.25) would be buying snacks with little to no nutritional value while those without any money would simply go without anything.
Instead all of the children at the school can now depend on a nutritious hot meal to help them concentrate on their studies and contribute towards their healthy development. With your continued support, Pueblo a Pueblo is seeking to provide the same service of a reliable hot meal to the other three elementary schools in which we have school gardens. With these two complementary projects, students will gain firsthand knowledge of the basics of growing food and nutrition while being guaranteed a hot, healthy meal that incorporates the garden harvests.
Pueblo a Pueblo plans to continue our school lunch program in the Panabaj School during 2011 and will expand this important nutritional benefit to the small school community of Chacaya as well. These two schools take part in our Organic School Garden program, whose aim is to complement and support the school lunches with fresh produce grown by the students in their own school gardens. Last year, Panabaj School had 3 successful harvests which contributed healthy food to be used in the school lunch.
It costs only.30 cents a day to feed one child a healthy lunch at school- most often their only nutritious and balanced meal of the day. Your support will keep this program going and ensure children get the nutrients they need to be successful.
Thanks to the support of our caring donors, Pueblo a Pueblo’s nutritional school lunch program continues to strengthen in Santiago Atitlán. Our organization has been providing hot, nutritional lunches for the Panabaj school children all year. Similarly, since tropical storm Agatha we have provided a healthy snack to the children at Chukumuk as well. With access to food remaining the leading cause of malnutrition in Guatemala, Pueblo a Pueblo will continue to make great strides in its mission of empowering the indigenous community to improve their own lives. The second successful harvest of vegetables from our Organic School Garden gives hope for us all that one day the community will be more self-sufficient and that food shortages will be a fading memory. Until that day comes, however, the children will continue to depend on the foundation built by donors like you who see their potential. Pueblo a Pueblo and the children thank you for your generosity!
School Nutrition Program Expands to Chukumuk
As families--many of them families of sponsored children--move from Panabaj to Chukumuk, Pueblo a Pueblo is expanding its school nutrition program. Beginning July 2010, we will help provide basic school nutrition to the students of the Chukumuk Provisional School. It is critical to support sponsored children at their new school, particularly in the face of storm-caused food shortages ahead. And after meetings between the school director and Pueblo a Pueblo staff, it became apparent that all of the children in Chukumuk could benefit from a program similar to our school lunch program in Panabaj.
Chukumuk students usually received only a morning snack, not lunch. Recently, even their snack has been discontinued due to lack of funding from the local government. Pueblo a Pueblo aspires to forge a strong relationship with Chukumuk, where many of our sponsored children's families are now moving. We are starting by resuming the morning snack for all of the students in Chukumuk, with the eventual goal of implementing a full school lunch program there in addition to our Panabaj program. Chukumuk currently has 326 students and attendance, which could jump to 540 as children from Panabaj continue to move to the community.
Your generous donations in June are helping us to start their school nutrition program almost immediately, before post-Agatha shortages can cause malnutrition. Any additional help you can spare can help make sure we can continue these programs.
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