Meet Wawira Njiru, a nutritionist, entrepreneur, and founder of Food4Education who believes that providing a healthy lunch to children will impact their school attendance and development.
In fact, schools that are enrolled in school feeding programs consistently will have up to 20% better performance than schools that are not enrolled consistently in school feeding programs, according to Wawira’s research.
The Food4Education initiative is providing healthy nutritious meals for children at a cost of 15 cents, among the cheapest in Kenya.
“Consistently providing food of high-quality nutrition value for 15 cents allows these children to have one very solid meal that they can have in a day and continue with learning and growing,” Wawira told CNN in the latest episode of Inside Africa.
Before the pandemic, Food4Education was providing meals to around 10,000 children. Now, they are providing meals to around 40 to 50,000 children every single day, with an increased number of kitchens and some in the pipeline. And they do not plan to stop there, “We’re looking to double that in the next year to 100,000 children and reach a million kids every single day in the next five years”, Wawira shares.
To reach this goal, the company is taking advantage of modern technology such as an LPG system that supports large cooking vessels and has the capacity to cook rice for around 800 children.
Ingredients are sourced from local farmers, and Wawira hopes to work with the government and other groups to further this initiative in the future, “We know that school meals are subsidized across the world from the US, the UK, to India, to South Africa, and school meal subsidies are really transformational when invested right by the government to ensure that there’s universal access to school meals and ensuring that more kids, no matter which public school they go to, have access to meals.”