Hunger continues to confront many Kenyan children in the informal settlements and economically challenged communities because of poverty in the families. Our education center in the heart of Korogocho slums grapple with hundreds of children who flock the center each lunch hour for food.
Grapesyard runs a school feeding program at its school in Korogocho slums. The program serves hot lunch to over 10, 000 daily during school days. The objective is to attract and retain children in school in order to receive primary education and at the same time to improve their nutrition for proper growth and development.
Food is a problem to get in Korogocho households. In order to cope, children skip school lessons or drop out altogether to fend for themselves. They enter into Dandora rubbish dumping site in search of metal and bones that they can sell to recyclers for money which they use to buy food. Others join street life where they start street families, besides engaging in substance abuse and criminal activities.
Those who hung on in school are too weak to meaningfully engage in learning. The majority of the children report to school having slept on an empty stomach the previous night, and or missed breakfast in the morning. Children often ask for more food during serving to take some home for their starving siblings.
The provision of school lunch is part of the reason for the high enrolment.
There is a need to serve 10 am porridge to complement the lunch program. This is currently lacking because of budget constraints.
Another challenge is that children take lunch in the open air because the school does not have a dining hall, this exposes food to contamination.