Education is the key to lifting communities out of poverty

In Tanzania, 97% of children are enrolled in primary school. However, there is a need for “fuel” to learn. Children who are hungry struggle to stay awake and concentrate in school. A hot lunch during the school day means children will have at least one nutritious meal and will be better equipped to learn.

Education is the key to lifting communities out of poverty. By providing the communities we serve in Tanzania with the funds necessary to run school lunch programs, we are helping them on their path towards sustainability . Through education, they will be able to develop their community from within.

The Lunch Program's Operating Model

The Lunch Project began testing its operating model in 2011 by serving lunch one day per week at Lemanyata Primary School. The supplies for uji porridge, a culturally sensitive meal in Tanzania, were purchased from local farmers. The children brought firewood from their home and buckets of clean water from the local well and carried them to the school. 

Local mothers (“mamas” in Swahili) were hired to cook the porridge over an open fire using the wood and water brought by the children and the ingredients from the local farmers. The porridge was served to the children in cups they brought from home. This community-supported model worked and we continue to use it today. We are now serving lunch in three primary schools in Tanzania, with more on the horizon.

We can measure our success

Attendance rates go up when lunch is served! This is a common trend in all of the schools where we have started a lunch program. The prospect of lunch makes it worth the long walk to school and it gives them the fuel to focus.

Since we began serving lunch at our model school, attendance has increased and averages over 90%.

Learn more about the Lunch Program

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