School children in India enjoy generous helpings of freshly prepared local cuisine.
Special Food Delivery
Thanks to the generous efforts of donors and volunteers, the FFP kitchen team in Bantoli, India, is now delivering! The team has started delivering nutritious daily meals and clean water to 155 more children in need. The delivery initiative comes in response to requests from the Bal Vikas and Sunrise Academy schools. Caring staff at the schools were witnessing too many of their students suffering from hunger, and reached out to FFP.
Hundreds of children and elderly people eat at the FFP kitchen in Bantoli each day. However, the facility is 11 kilometers away from these schools, so walking there wasn’t an option for these hungry children. As a solution, volunteers are now bringing fresh, local meals to serve to the children during their school lunchtime.
And what a difference this has made!
“They give me as much as I want!”
“I don’t need to eat the rest of the day.”
“I’ve never had food so tasty!”
These are just a few of the children’s ecstatic comments during their recent lunch.
In fact, the outpouring of appreciation from the students, teachers and parents that keeps flowing in, is so heart-warming that it’s inspiring everyone involved in the FFP program!
Schoolchildren in India receive food and instruction in sanitation to improve health from Food for People staff.
Cuisine and Hygiene
Most of the vegetables are grown in the FFP gardens and they are always cooked with care in the local cuisine. The dishes served typically include khichri (a rice and daal dish) and aloo chole (chickpea and potato curry). The meals are so filling that there is no need for the children to feel hungry for the rest of the day.
During the lunch breaks, great care is also taken to transform the classrooms at the two schools into clean and sanitary spaces to eat. Children are taught the importance of washing hands and the servers set a good example by wearing gloves and protective clothing. Hygiene education has proven to be a key part of the success of FFP in helping stem the spread of disease.
Another very important aspect of the service is that the students’ parents no longer have to choose between feeding their children or sending them to school.
Without the pain of hunger pangs and the loss of concentration due to a lack of calories, children can continue to study longer. The more children stay in school, the more chance they have to end the cycle of poverty.
Food for Thought
Food is a simple but powerful tool for changing lives. It has a knock-on effect.
One person who is grateful for the Food for People program in Bantoli is Suraj. He became the first student in the village of Bantoli to ever pass the tenth grade matriculation exam. Passing that exam allowed him to enroll in secondary school and then college.
Suraj knowing firsthand the effects a good meal has on education, has this to say: “Before Food for People, very few children used to go to school – and if they did, only until the eighth grade. People used to plough the fields. Now children want to go to college. The way they think has changed.”
On that same note, Food for People is changing the way non-locals think, too. As an approach to helping relieve hunger and offering a way to end the cycle of poverty that leads to hunger – it is unparalleled.
“I’ve been a chef most of my life, but I never really realized the power of food. I always knew that food satisfied hunger, and that if it was done well, people loved it. But I never realized the power in food to change lives. Then I understood the purpose of Food for People.” – Bobby Hendry, Food for People volunteer based in the U.K.
Food to satisfy hunger, improve health and provide hope.
The Bigger Food for People Picture
In Nepal, the Food for People facility in Tasarpu is delivering meals to 10 schools across the rugged mountains of Dhading for several years with remarkable results.
Many of the schools have seen increases in health, enrollment and achievement due to the food service and it is expected that the same will happen in India.
Across all of the facilities in India, Nepal and Ghana, over 600,000 meals have been served so far in 2023, and the overall total since inception is expected to approach 6 million by the end of the year.
It is thanks to program founder Prem Rawat’s vision paired with the generous supporters from around the world who make it all possible.
The efforts are helping children such as Suraj create a future that they had only dreamed about. In turn, those who receive help may be inspired to help others in the community.
Here, Suraj shares his gratitude for the Food for People program:
“When I have time, I come to the FFP dining hall and I volunteer by helping watch the little children and supporting the program in whatever way I can. I’d like to thank all of the people who give so much love to the children through this program. Food for People gave me so much support in my life. It was a great gift for me. It helped me with my education; it helped me grow up. Without Food for People, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Learn more about Food for People here.