Food and Nutrition
Providing free meals at school is the way we attract children into our program. We use food as the platform to have access to those without life's basic essentials. School meals help families educate thier children. our meals are combined with deworming to ensure children receive the vital nutrients they need for their growth and development.
Wherever possible, we source fresh ingredients from local farmers which benefits the whole community and enhances overall sustainability.
We believe hand hygiene is important. In the Philippines, there is no hand washing facilities with soap in public schools. We have built and allocated a hand washing area for our school feeding program with soap. All children are required to wash hands prior to eating thier meals. Because toilets aren't supplied with toilet paper, we are working on innovative ways of providing it to our children and making this school an example for other communities to follow.
Globally, most school feeding programs run on a short term 'most urgent' basis. Meaning every year the children who've reached the healthy Body Mas Index level no longer receive meals and a new group of children join the program. We do things differently. We believe that to truly break the cycle of poverty and invest in the future of these children, they (and thier families) need to be nurtured and supported until they are on that first rung of the ladder. As you can see from above, we don't provide handouts. We provide them with the tools they need to help themselves. Once the family has the basic needs met, can they have a chance to a life free from poverty. So we keep the children in our program until they graduate Primary School. Every school year we add new children into the program (on a most needed basis) from grade 1.
Malnutrition is a serious concern in the Philippines today
Hunger and malnutrition are a hindrance to student achievement and outcomes in public schools
Present data indicates that there are around 2 Million malnourished children in the Philippines
3 out of 10 Filipino children are currently working to help feed their families
The National Statistics Office of the Philippines reported that there were at least 6.24 million out of school youths in the country in 2011
The cost of school meals is a major barrier that keeps impoverished children out of education