Hungry school children in Mozambique now have an even greater incentive to attend school. Planet Aid and its local partner ADPP Mozambique began delivering the first of many hot school meals to nearly 250 schools throughout the province. The school meals are part of a comprehensive nutrition and education strengthening program being funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture under the Food for Education Program (FFE).
Last week on World Hunger Day, more than 11,000 children were provided with a hot corn porridge (a traditional meal in Mozambique) blended with soy for needed protein. The program will scale up by July, reaching 60,000 primary school children. More than 34 million meals will be delivered through the project over the next three years.
To celebrate the arrival of the food, Deputy Director of Education for the Maputo Province, Faustino Sergio Nativo, and Birgit Holm, General Director, ADPP Mozambique visited one of the schools, Motaze Primary School, during lunchtime and to launch the building of a latrine.
"The children are very happy and this is a special moment. On behalf of ADPP and the local officials present here today, I wish to extend a warm thank you to our partners USDA and Planet Aid for their support. This program aims to ensure better learning, but also that the entire community gets to know a lot more about nutrition and how to stay healthy,"
—Birgit Holm, ADPP Mozambique General Director
In addition to providing meals, the FFE program is also refurbishing kitchens at the participating schools, as well as building secure food storage facilities and latrines for a more sanitary environment, and creating dependable water sources. The idea is to establish the infrastructure and create the momentum needed for activities to continue well beyond the project period. Part of generating that momentum also involves training 4,000 primary school teachers, thereby strengthening the quality of education and ensuring that lessons about nutrition become part of the teaching regimen.
Overall, the three-year project will benefit more than one million students, teachers, parents, and community members in all ten provinces of Mozambique. For more information, read previous reports on the project.