North Country Mission of Hope Feeding Program
The goal of the Mission’s Feeding Program is to provide a daily meal for students while attending school. For some of the children, this is the only meal they receive a day. We are acutely aware that education is the key to rising out of poverty, but these children need food first in order to function in the classroom. If your primary thought all day is how and or when you will eat food, that defeats the purpose of sitting a child in a classroom with the intentions of learning.
In 2015, the North Country Mission partnered with Stop Hunger Now and Feed My Starving Children. These grants provided over 1,000,000 humanitarian meals annually to be distributed to students in the twenty-four schools the Mission sponsors. Prior to receiving the humanitarian food grants, the Mission was only able to feed approximately 600 children per day at two schools due to funding restrictions. The feeding program rapidly expanded into twenty-four schools located in thirteen barrios feeding over 6,700 children a day. In 2019, the North Country Mission of Hope partnered with Fabretto to finance Nicaraguan family farmers to grow rice in-country. The rice is harvested and 24 meal packing events are held throughout the year to pack the food to be distributed in the schools. The school children, school administrators, teachers and the school children’s parents volunteer at the meal packing events. This solution creates empowerment and a more sustainable food supply chain rather than fully being dependent on foreign aid.
Malnutrition/undernourishment is prevalent in the barrios. This leads to inadequate calories being consumed and vitamin and mineral deficiency which can result in impairments in mental function and inadequate growth patterns. A malnourished child is also more prone to disease. The humanitarian food will provide the students with a daily meal that consists of dehydrated rice/soy meal which is fortified with 23 essential vitamins and nutrients. To supplement the humanitarian food and provide a varied menu, the North Country Mission of Hope provides each school with a monthly stipend to purchase food complements such as cheese, vegetables and meat. Water filtration systems are also distributed to the schools to filter parasites and bacteria, and bi-annually parasite medicine is dispensed to the students. The combination of a daily meal, water filtration systems and parasite medicine distribution are resulting in an improvement in the health of the children and their classroom performance. For some of these children, the school meal is the only meal they receive on a consistent basis particularly in this time of socio-political unrest that has plummeted the Nicaraguan economy into a deep recession.
How Can You Help?
There are two options to financially assist. You can make a general donation to the feeding program or Adopt a School. Adopting a school provides a more personal touch. Donors will receive copies of report cards, pictures of the school children and letters from the school children and administration annually.