You know how hard it is to get things done when you’re hungry? Your head feels foggy, it’s impossible to retain anything, and you end up having to redo simple tasks.
Now imagine you’re a growing child who’s trying to learn new things in school. Abruptly there’s a lot more at stake than a few hours of extra work.
Sadly, that’s current realities for a huge percentage of children around the world. 66 million primary-school-aged children across the developing world go to school hungry every day . Not only does this undernutrition cause a whole host of health problems, it greatly affects their ability to keep up with their studies.
And when children start falling behind in school, it’s a devastating spoke in the vicious wheel of poverty. Lower cognitive function usually leads to an incomplete education, which then stimulates it near impossible for them to get a higher paying task.
So even though skipping lunch may not sound like that big of a deal as an adult, to a kid, it could be the thing that keeps them from reaching a life-changing level of opportunity.
That’s why Fairtrade USA — a nonprofit that supports small farmers around the world — helped start a school feeding program in their farmers’ communities.
While it’s a newer program, it’s already making a huge change in one local school in the Philippines — a group of over 7,000 islands from which Fairtrade gets its certified organic coconuts.
The school itself is quite remote — the children have to walk down long, winding, muddy roads everyday just to get there. Couple that with regularly hungry bellies, and you can only imagine what a struggle it can be for them to remain focused in class.
But since the school feeding program was implemented, their outlook and energy seems significantly improved according to visiting Kroger team members, who stock Fairtrade USA products.
“We saw bright, smiling faces and healthy children thriving, ” tells Karrie Pukstas, marketing director for corporate affairs at Kroger. “We ensure such potential.”
The school feeding program is on track to feed approximately 1,750 kids in 60 schools in these Fairtrade farming communities. That’s a sizable step forward in the fight to give these children a chance at a better life.
But it’s not just about the kids and their futures. This program is impacting their parents in a big route, too.
The kids weren’t the only ones feeling the effects of going about their day hungry. Imagine being unable to provide your child the nutrition they need to function properly due to circumstances beyond your control. It could feel devastating.
However, thanks to the feeding program, some of that burden has been lifted off their shoulders. And when they get to see their kids revitalized and happy, it’s a real confidence boost.
This relief would not be possible without grocery store like Kroger stimulating it a priority to stock Fairtrade certified products. And when you stimulate the choice to purchase those products, you’re not only supporting an organization that empowers smaller farmers — you’re dedicating their children a a little clearer shot at a better future.
It just takes a moment to check a label, but that moment could change the course of a child’s life forever.
Learn more about Fairtrade’s school feeding program here :