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Stories from the Field

Celebrating the Power of a Meal in Honor of International Day of Education

By Amanda Whitmyer on January 24, 2023

Ensuring access to quality education and nourishing meals helps to develop a bright future and promotes lifelong learning opportunities for children and their communities across the globe.

In honor of International Day of Education, Rise Against Hunger recognizes the important correlation between education and food security. Aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Goal #2 of Zero Hunger, our efforts to provide meals, often distributed through school feeding programs, help to increase access to education, improve literacy rates and reduce hunger.

In 2017, Rise Against Hunger partnered with ADRA Zimbabwe to launch Planting Seeds for Strong Communities, a five-year initiative based in the Gokwe North district of Zimbabwe that provided emergency school feeding programs at 30 schools. This district previously had a high primary school dropout rate of 40% and a severe drought, causing significant food insecurity from low agricultural production and grain yields. 

Since participating in the program, Deputy Headmaster Godfrey Chimhepo of the Manyuli Primary School witnessed firsthand how the Planting Seeds for Strong Communities initiative benefited his school and community. Among the most notable improvements, Godfrey has seen a drastic increase in school attendance, including parents who participate in the school feeding program by working in the home-grown school garden. This garden provides leafy vegetables, cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, beans and onions.

“When I see my community making progress, I feel very happy…I also feel included in the entire community. The worldwide community,” Godfrey said.

Manyuli Primary School is now self-sufficient with a viable water system and graduating from the program. As a result, students receive meals up to five times a week and a quality education. The community also benefits from long-term food security and a strengthened local agricultural economy.

Stay tuned over the next several months to learn more about the Planting Seeds for Strong Communities initiative and how real-life impact has empowered the Gokwe North district of Zimbabwe community. 

Are you interested in growing the movement with Rise Against Hunger to support school feeding programs, just like the Manyuli Primary School? Consider hosting a meal packaging event with your business, church or school to package meals distributed around the globe to help people facing food insecurity.