Studies have identified a close relationship between student nutrition and school performance: students at nutritional risk have worse school attendance, grades, and behavioral conflicts than those who are adequately nourished. Fortunately, problems linked to poor children’s nutrition are reversible, which is why parents and regulatory organizations in wealthy nations are focused on the quality of school meals. However, in places like Africa, where food insecurity can be endemic, proper nutrition is a luxury.
Prevalence of Food Insecurity In Sub-Saharan Africa
Nutritional deficiencies are worst in the poorer countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. In those like Uganda, where poverty is compounded or driven by overpopulation, many households rely on food assistance from foreign aid programs and humanitarian nonprofits to provide daily meals. General food insecurity is a major obstacle to getting basic nutrients. Without them, adult functionality is reduced; children are unable to thrive or
retain what they are taught in school, which negatively impacts their futures.
Effects of Food Insecurity on Children
Uganda’s global hunger index (GHI) shows that a high percentage of children experience inhibited growth because of nutritional deficiencies, and 53% of Ugandan children between 6 months and 5 years are anemic. It’s no surpris e, then, that their academic development is impaired as well. In 2020, one head teacher remarked: “We saw how our children were behaving. In the afternoon, they would be dizzy all the time and were not concentrating in class.”
Feeding Programs in Ugandan Schools
Recently, UNICEF has implemented nutrition services training as part of a feeding program in the Kole District of Uganda, and administrators are working to do the same in fifteen districts in the most food-insecure parts of the country.
Part of the program involves cultivating community or school gardens for growing produce and other garden goods. Some of it can be used for food, while the rest can be sold to buy meat, grains, and other non-produce foods. This means that schools may well become the most nutritious source of Ugandan food in every community.
However, more comprehensive educational and care support is needed to meet students’ basic health care needs and teach them about nutrition and disease prevention. One powerful way to accomplish this is to make donations to Ugandan charities and schools as well as those elsewhere in Africa. A high-quality education coupled with essential wellness care equips each student with the tools necessary for improving their own quality of life and that of their communities.
Simone’s Kids in Nakaseke, Uganda provides education and meets basic needs for children in order to help them break the cycle of poverty. Simone’s Kids’ Lunch Line program emphasizes the importance of good nutrition and enables every student to receive one to two meals a day while attending school. Your donations help purchase school supplies, textbooks, food, and other necessities for Ugandan students. Make a difference by shopping at the Simone’s Kids Store or donating to Simone’s Kids today!