The Foundation of Goodness is a holistic rural development model that seeks to bridge the urban-rural divide in Sri Lanka via 10 empowerment divisions across 900+ villages island-wide, and reached over 307,000+ beneficiaries in 2022 alone by way of 15 Empowerment Centres, free of cost.
A significant portion of the population in Sri Lanka, especially children, are increasingly becoming food-insecure given the current economic constraints and high food inflation. Against this backdrop, the ‘Feed a Child’ School Meals Programme by the Foundation of Goodness is playing a crucial role in providing nutritious meals to disadvantaged children, helping them to overcome hunger and continue with their education.
The World Food Programme’s latest assessment reveals that nearly 30 percent (6 million people) of Sri Lanka’s population – are currently food-insecure and require humanitarian assistance. Before the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis, the country already had high malnutrition rates. With the current situation, these rates are expected to rise. Based on statistics released by the WFP, 15% of children under 5 suffer from wasting, while 17% of children under 5 are stunted. As such, the provision of school meals to children from disadvantaged families from both urban and rural areas is crucial in combatting the alarming rates of malnutrition.
Launched in 2022, the Foundation of Goodness’ ‘Feed a Child’ School Meals Programme is a vital initiative that provides much-needed support to the children of Sri Lanka who struggle with limited access to nutritious meals. Such school meals programmes not only serve as an incentive for parents to send their children to school, but these initiatives also enhance the physical and mental capacities of children, increasing their prospects for a better future. It is crucially important for children to have nutritious meals that improve their health and cognitive development. This, in turn, could lead to better educational outcomes, greater economic opportunities, and improved quality of life as they grow up.
The ‘Feed a Child’ School Meals Programme has successfully provided over 25,738 meals to rural school children so far this year, and the aim is to provide 100,000 meals to school children by the end of the year. With the invaluable support of our kind donors, this programme has served over 59,624 warm, delicious mid-day meals to 9,070 kids from 49 rural schools across 18 districts including Kegalle, Galle, Batticaloa, Ampara, Anuradhapura, Jaffna, Badulla, Mullaitivu, Monaragala and also Colombo, targeting children among the urban poor community.
Last week (7th to 10th March) alone saw the distribution of over 2,930 meals to 733 children from six districts. (*Note: ‘All You Need is Love Singapore’ sponsors the school meals programme for four schools in Ampara, Badulla, Jaffna & Mullaitivu Districts every week)
The impact of this programme is significant, as it provides a wholesome mid-day meal for children who often survive on one meal a day or are compelled to skip school due to a lack of food. A donation of just $10 can make a significant difference in the lives of these children, ensuring they receive the nourishment they need to stay in school and reach their full potential.
The ‘Feed a Child’ School Meals Programme is an essential step towards improving the lives and future prospects of Sri Lanka’s children. As the saying goes, “A full tummy can change the future!”, let us all do our part to support this vital initiative and help shape a better future for the children of Sri Lanka.