Our Work > School Lunch Program
We serve locally-sourced school meals in primary schools in rural Mozambique where many children run the risk of malnutrition and dropping out of school. For many children, this is their first and main meal of the day.
Our menu was designed to fit local tastes as well as meet key nutritional needs as advised by certified nutritionists consulting for our organization. This includes chicken, beans, peanut sauce, vegetables, rice and maize porridge.
With these school meals, we have observed significant improvements in child nutrition and school participation. Teachers say that their students no longer miss classes, show up on time, and are able to concentrate better. In our most recently-added school, we saw enrollment increase by 30% after we started the school lunch program.
- They encourage parents to send their younger children to school earlier, resulting in fewer delayed starts.
- They help keep girls in school, rather than being married early.
- They keep young boys going to school rather than dropping out to heard goats.
- Students can focus on what they're learning and not on their empty stomachs!
In order to maximize the nutritional impact of our school lunches, the Mozambique School Lunch Initiative partners with the Chokwe District Health Services to deliver bi-annual deworming and weekly iron supplementation programs. Deworming ensures that children are able to absorb the maximum amount of nutrients. Iron supplementation helps combat chronic anemia and increase energy.
We have also installed "tip-tap" hand-washing stations at all of the schools, encouraging healthy hygiene practices and establishing habits among children.