School Snack – Feeding Hungry Minds
By: Raymond Delnatus, School Snack Supervisor
As you might imagine, in a country with very little electricity and few portable foods, many children arrive at school with an empty stomach after walking a mile or more in the morning. This, of course, isn’t optimal for learning. It’s especially disheartening because often their impoverished parents have scrimped and sacrificed to pay school fees and uniforms even in “free” public schools. The MFK team is working to make sure children have food at school.
In the 2012-2013 school year, MFK was fortunate to be awarded a US Department of Agriculture grant to develop and test the acceptability and efficacy of a school snack for poor children attending school in Cap Haitien, Haiti.
By this point in the year, the project is in full swing with 10 Haitian employees and 6 schools enrolled. There are 1200 Haitian children between the ages of 4 and 12 years who will receive a snack every school day. As you can see from some of these photos, the kids are all very excited!
It’s truly astonishing the transformation that occurs between the time the children arrive at school, many of them unengaged and lethargic, and when they receive the snack. After our Mamba, they are racing around and playing – many of them smiling from ear to ear.
With this pilot project, MFK expects to see a decrease in anemia and sick days and an increase in school attendance and school performance. We hope that with good nutrition, these bright minds will shine even brighter.
The school principals and teachers are equally delighted to have the opportunity to feed their students a snack to keep them alert all morning until school lets out at 1pm.
MFK looks forward to a positive result and to producing more of this new product in Haiti in the future!