Hunger is one of the biggest—yet most solvable—challenges African children face.
In Kenya, over half of the population is food insecure, 46% live in extreme poverty and 1 in every 4 children have their growth stunted through lack of food. Given 43% of the population is primary school age the challenge of ensuring children are well fed is clear. In public primary schools, an estimated 60% of the 10,000,000 children in Kenya enrolled do not receive adequate nutrition. Only 20% of children in Kenyan schools receive a meal that meets minimally acceptable nutrition standards. Stunting has serious effects on health and school performance, hindering a child’s current ability to learn and realise their future potential.
Food for Education aims to improve educational outcomes by providing hot, nutritious, subsidized school meals to some of the country’s low-income urban and semi-urban public primary school children. Recent research by the World Food Programme (WFP) validated Food for Education’s work, finding that for every $1 invested in school lunches in Kenya, there is a $9 return in improved social outcomes. Innovative technology is a cornerstone to Food for Education’s school feeding approach, through its Tap2Eat technology, a cashless payment system that makes it easy for parents to contribute for meals, invest in their children’s nutrition, track their dietary intake, and monitor their school attendance. Using the Near Field Technology (NFC) on the wristband only takes 5 seconds for the child to ‘tap’ and access the meal. The organisation is on track to serve 100,000 children daily by the end of 2022 and plans to serve 1 million Kenyan children per day by 2027. Food for Education’s long-term goal is to expand national school feeding programme by mainstreaming its model into national policy and in the public education system. Since 2012, Food for Education 10,000,000 meals have led to improved nutrition, school attendance, performance and higher secondary school transition rates.
(Photo credit to Food for Education)