Kenyan school feeding initiative, Food for Education, has expanded its feeding operations to Mombasa County’s public schools. The initiative aims to feed 100,000 school children every day by the end of this year.
Food for Education’s Mombasa County’s pioneer program targets to serve 5,000 lunches daily, and 30,000 in the region by the end of the year. Currently, Food for Education delivers 30,000 similar daily servings from its Ruiru and Dagoretti South kitchens, in Nairobi County.
The award-winning program works with public schools to ensure children from low-income households have access to quality, hygienic and nutritious meals.
According to Food for Education’s founder Wawira Njiru, said, “Mombasa county is prime for this infrastructure, with most schools seeking options of a sustainable school feeding program. Being a densely populated city, the majority of the schools have limited space for kitchens, forcing children to seek alternative means to access meals while in school, while some are forced to stay hungry all day.”
Food for Education owns a central mega-kitchen in a select school where meals are prepared. The food is then distributed, using smart logistics and innovative technology. Its Tap2Eat app allows parents to prepay for meals which are distributed to surrounding schools, saving on costs, expanding the reach for low cost nutritious meals.
According to Ms. Wawira, the kitchen will source foods from local small-holder farmers, improving farmer incomes and the viability of local food value chains. “Our home-grown strategy fosters increased production and diversification by smallholders, which stimulates the strengthening of local and national food systems and the promotion of better-quality diets,” said Ms. Wawira.
Food For Education targets to serve a million school meals per day by 2025, and is working on setting up kitchens in the major counties in Kenya as a key plank of its expansion.
According to World Food Program (WFP), the annual global investment in school meals amounts to Ksh. 7.5 trillion. An estimated 368 million children receive a meal at school every day, as a safety net, in both developing and affluent countries. Further, WFP believes that school meals can contribute directly to the attainment of a number of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).