Since 2007, KFC, Yum! Brands and our customers around the world have been raising funds for WFP and changing lives for people in need. Together, you’ve helped provide 440 million school meals for children. That means more education–and more hope–for the next generations.
Meet some of the extraordinary children who have benefitted from WFP school meals.
Juhara is 11 years old. She lives with her parents and has one brother. She ensures that she does her homework after class in the afternoon, and in her free time, she loves to read and play “sipa” (the Philippine version of foot volley). Juhara has been a recipient of WFP’s School Feeding Programme since she was in first grade. “The on-site meals help me to learn and finish school,” she says.
Her favorite subject is Filipino. She wants to be a teacher or a doctor someday and help people in need, especially those who are sick.
“If I am able to eat nutritious food (WFP School Meals), I can learn and have the knowledge that will help me achieve my dream of becoming a teacher or doctor someday.”
WFP in the Philippines
A lower-middle-income country, the Philippines has a food deficit that is exacerbated by the combined effects of man-made and natural disasters including earthquakes, typhoons and armed conflict. As one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries, it ranks third out of 171 countries on the 2015 World Risk Index.
WFP support provides on-site meals to more than 60,000 students per school year in over 250 schools from the provinces of Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao. Teachers and parents, with the support of WFP, prepare daily school meals which allow children to focus on their studies instead of their stomachs.
Paulin is 8 years old; he has three brothers and two sisters. Every day he walks for almost 45 minutes to get to school. He is happy to be a beneficiary of WFP school meals because otherwise he would not have much to eat. He loves rice, especially the rice his mother cooks. He loves to play soccer, and to play with his friends. One day he dreams of becoming a famous soccer player, or the President of Benin!
WFP in Benin
Benin is located on the West African coast, with a total population of approximately 9 million.
WFP currently provides food assistance to children enrolled in public primary schools through its school meals programme, which includes 569 schools and 100,000 students.
The school feeding programme aims to support districts where there are high rates of poverty and chronic malnutrition and where net enrolment rates are below the national average. In some districts of Benin, more than 50% of children are not in school.
Through the school meals programme with WFP, students in primary schools receive a daily meal made up of maize, beans, vegetable oil and salt. These daily meals help to increase enrolment and attendance rates at school and improve concentration during class.
Nirva is 6 years old and is in second grade. She has two sisters and two brothers–they live alone with their mother, who sells second-hand dresses in the market. If she had a doll she would put it somewhere safe, and once Nirva finished her studying, she would play with it.
Nirva’s school is situated in Cap Haitien, the northern coastal city of Haiti, and has been in the school feeding programme since 1999. When they arrive in the morning, the children often complain about headaches because many have not eaten since the previous morning. Without food, there would be no school. Knowing that their children will get a plate of food encourages parents to send their kids to school. The school is very poor and cannot afford to buy tables and benches for all, so some of the children have to stand up during classes.
WFP in Haiti
Haiti is the poorest country in the Americas, ranking 163rd out of 188 countries on the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI). Its economy has been repeatedly affected by political crises and natural disasters. Six years after the 2010 earthquake, Haiti’s population continues to face humanitarian and development challenges.
WFP delivers daily hot meals to over 541,000 schoolchildren in over 1,700 schools. WFP’s school meals programme represents the country's largest food safety net and supports the government’s efforts to establish a Haitian-owned programme by 2030.
WFP is working on a pilot programme to provide schools with locally produced foods by buying directly from small farmers, improving children’s diet diversity and stimulating local markets.
Stephen is 12 years old, and already knows what he wants to be when he grows up. “I want to become a lawyer. To do that I know I need to concentrate hard in class and finish school with good grades.”
Stephen lives with his mom, dad and six brothers and sisters. Food is scarce, and normally there just isn’t enough available at home for him to have breakfast. The first meal of the day he receives is WFP porridge at 11 a.m. and then a WFP lunch of maize and yellow split peas. He has been receiving WFP school meals for the last six years since he started the first grade. “My breakfast is normally just tea but I don’t worry too much about it because I know I will eat later on at school.”
Stephen’s father paints houses and his mother stays at home to look after the family, but with such a large family everyone has to do their bit to help. When Stephen arrives home from school he lights the family’s charcoal stove, warms the bathing water and then does his homework.Stephen says, “If I wasn’t getting school meals I don’t think I would eat at all during the day, just whatever there was at home at night. I like the school meals because they help me to do better in class. My favorite subject at school is definitely science but I also love playing football at break times.”
WFP in Kenya
Over 1.3 million Kenyans don’t have enough food to eat and are in need of assistance, mostly in the arid and semi-arid lands of Northern Kenya. In Kenya, WFP uses its food resources to meet emergency needs as well as to support economic and social development.
School meals are an important safety net for many communities in Kenya. WFP is providing school meals to over 575,000 school children in Kenya, helping give them the energy and strength to go to school every day and focus on their education, and also providing a mid-morning meal for all primary and pre-primary school children in refugee camps.
Yasmina is 10 years old, and has been a beneficiary of the School Meals Programme for three years. “When I am at school I learn many things, I get to play with my friends, and I have a nutritious meal. After school I go back home where I do my homework, I eat, and then clean the dishes. My favorite sport is dancing hip-hop. At school we receive for lunch rice and beans with salt and pepper and I really enjoy it. For breakfast I usually have pudding but my preferred dish is meat. I love coming to school because I can learn French and Mathematics, even if my favorite subjects are History and Geography. I dream of becoming a teacher and the School Meals Programme will help me achieve this dream because it helps me in my growth.”
The Dalaweye Primary School is one of 700 selected for the School Feeding Programme in Niger. Since becoming a canteen school in 2006, the school’s performances have dramatically improved. Truancy and drop-out rates are close to zero. For the past four years the school 100% of the students passed the final exam. “Teachers, parents and schoolchildren are not stressed anymore with lack of food; we are much more concentrated on teaching and helping children to express their full capacity. We know how difficult it is for parents to feed their children. The school canteen is a great asset for everyone involved,” says Mahamadou Aladji, the school headmaster.
WFP in Niger
Niger is a landlocked, less-developed, low-income, food-deficit country in the Sahara–Sahel belt, with a population of over 16 million. Niger ranks last on the 2013 Human Development Index (186 of 186 countries), and life expectancy at birth is 55 years. The situation of children is of particular concern: one in eight children never reaches the age of five and over 40 percent of children are chronically malnourished.
WFP aims to strengthen the resilience of the chronically vulnerable and at-risk communities while ensuring a critical food and nutrition safety net during seasonal periods of constrained access to food. In 2015, WFP provided meals to over 200,000 school children in 1,250 primary schools throughout the country.