What if Convoy of Hope served children sawdust for lunch? The sawdust could be mixed with water to create a lumpy mush similar to oatmeal. Each child would receive enough sawdust mush to fill their belly, relieving their hunger pains. With this method, Convoy would be able to serve millions of kids every day.
Clearly, what we serve children matters. A full child is not the same as a healthy child.
Convoy of Hope feeds more than 145,000 children in 11 countries. These children show stunning improvements. They gain weight and height, perform better in school, and have more energy. So, what’s in these meals that makes them so effective?
Convoy’s goal isn’t to fill their plates and bellies alone. By partnering with organizations like Feed My Starving Children (FMSC), millions of nutritious meals are served every year through the Children’s Feeding Initiative. Each meal is packed with what a child needs to thrive.
Protein promotes brain development, especially in the first few years of life. Zinc, Iron, Calcium, and Vitamins A, C, D, and E defend against illness, help fight infections, form bones and nerves, improve vision, and aid in digestion. Carbohydrates provide energy to learn, play, and stay physically active.
Nutrition is important for more than just health. Dr. Peter Orazem, Professor of Economics at Iowa State University, said,
“A kid who starts off nutritionally able can learn in a not-so-great school. But even a kid in the greatest school in the world who’s hungry, who doesn’t have the micronutrients or the proteins that are necessary to develop, is not going to learn.”
Without nutritious meals, Convoy’s programs wouldn’t be effective. Nutrition helps kids learn in school. Nutrition allows medicines to work in the body. Nutrition lets kids become healthy adults who are able to start businesses and grow better crops. Nutrition is a building block required for community transformation.
Feeding a child a bowl of sawdust mush might sound extreme, but unfortunately for many, it’s not far off. When income or access to nutritious meals is lacking, some families living in extreme poverty will resort to feeding their children dirt or tree bark to quiet stomach pains.
Convoy of Hope and Feed My Starving Children exist to bring hope and life. Together, with your help, we can provide children with the nutrition to fuel their bright future.