School lunch in Haiti

It’s been one year since the earthquake that killed 200,000 people and devastated Haiti, and the situation in the island nation continues to be difficult. Last week’s presidential election, according The Globe and Mail featured “massive irregularities,” much of the capital has yet to be rebuilt and some 3,500 Haitians have reportedly died of cholera since the fall.

With thousands of schools destroyed or damaged by the earthquake, the already-fragile education system— let alone school lunch— is still recovering.

That’s where the World Food Program comes in. Working in partnership with the Haitian national school canteen program, WFP will feed school meals to 1.1 million kids across the country this school year.

image from The World Food Program http://www.wfp.org

The meal is basic: usually rice and beans. If the school has extra money they’ll add some meat, fish or vegetables. At some schools, there are also take-home rations. It is often the only meal these kids have all day.

An innovative pilot project is also working at providing fresh milk from local dairy farmers for some schools. The benefits are two-fold: the program provides a ready market for farmers who are part of the dairy cooperative; and children at the designated schools receive two bottles of fresh, healthy local milk each week—something they’d be unlikely to enjoy otherwise. Now that’s a win-win situation.

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