Haiti has faced longstanding challenges with food insecurity and malnutrition, and the situation in Jeremie, located in the southwestern part of the country, was no exception. The nutritional situation in Haiti, including Jeremie, has been influenced by various factors, including poverty, limited access to resources, natural disasters, and political instability. This led to several challenges related to education. Students faced lots of difficulties in learning, and coming to school and those who came did not want to stay in the classroom. Most of the families did not have the mean to feed their children and preferred to keep them home to avoid health complications.
For this reason, the need emerged to implement a school feeding program in the Primary School École Mariste de Champagnat for all the students and 90 of the students are Restavèk children, children who are sent to live with a wealthier family to work as domestic servants in exchange for basic necessities such as food and shelter. This initiative provides one nutritious meal for each student during the school day, from September until June, which has a positive impact on their overall health, growth, and cognitive development. School meals provided through the feeding program are designed to meet specific nutritional standards, ensuring that students receive a balanced diet. This will improve attendance, reduce dropout rates, enhance academic performance, and alleviate hunger among students.
Not less importantly, this feeding program addresses nutritional needs and has broader social impacts. It will help reduce social inequalities by ensuring that children from disadvantaged backgrounds have access to adequate nutrition and quality education. Additionally, they can alleviate the financial burden on families, as the provision of meals reduces household food expenses.