In homes across the globe where school-age children are present, mornings are typically full of chaos.
In Ethiopia, mothers rise early to prepare their children’s breakfast and pack their lunchboxes. The type of lunch children take to school varies depending on the economic level of the family. But all families work to make sure their children have something to eat during the school day.
Research shows the critical role that nutrition plays in childhood development. Well-nourished children are full of energy. Having a healthy, well-rounded diet allows them to focus and actively engage in their classes. Beyond the school room, children with full bellies are also better able to play and interact with their friends. Having food to eat at school goes beyond the child’s nourishment — it affects their psychological well-being as well.
A Growing Hunger Gap
The global food crisis, conflict and inflation have destabilized families’ ability to provide for their children. Children are at the forefront of food scarcity, which affects their education and development.
According to World Food Programme, food insecurity and malnutrition are major concerns for Ethiopia, with 20.4 million people in the country needing food support.
The soaring price of food is choking most families’ budgets. The gap between what they earn and what their money can buy is becoming wider by the day. Most families are forced to choose which meal to cut out of the day — breakfast, lunch or dinner.