Students can’t succeed on empty stomachs. That’s why Project Concern International (PCI) has partnered with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) since 2001 to provide healthy school meals to children in need.
In fact, thanks to PCI’s McGovern-Dole Food for Education (FFE) programs, more than 1 million students have been given an opportunity to grow, thrive and better focus on their studies in schools across Bolivia, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Tanzania.
In the year ahead, PCI and USDA will provide more than 200,000 school meals every day in the latter three countries. We’ll also support local parents, communities and governments as they take on managing and sustaining these programs.
For example, in Bolivia, 49 municipalities that graduated from PCI FEE programs continue to provide daily meals to over 110,000 children using local resources. Tanzania, Nicaragua and Guatemala are also making progress toward sustainability:
- In Tanzania, school gardens generated 27 metric tons of food to contribute to school meals in just 9 months. Local parents donated an additional 12 metric tons of food.
- The Ministry of Education in Nicaragua covers 100% of food transportation costs and provides 14% of the food for meals in FFE schools.
- Two municipal governments in Guatemala have incorporated funding for school meals into their budgets.
PCI FFE programs are about so much more than school meals, though. Students who are no longer too hungry to learn show improvement in their literacy, attendance and overall academic performance. This, in turn, leads to a more educated, economically developed society.
To gain a better understanding of what these school meals mean for one child and her family, meet Violet and her mother, Helena, from the Mara Region of Tanzania.
As kids file into classrooms this month and back-to-school photos flood social media feeds, picture the difference you can make in the lives of students like Violet by supporting PCI today.