120 million children never go to school. But we know that every year of schooling adds 10 to 15 per cent a year to the incomes of people in poor countries for life. And we also know how to get those kids to school: offer nutritious meals to children in school but only if they come to school to get it.
-President Bill Clinton
Every week, GPM provides over 1,000 hot, nutritious meals to children attending school. The children, studying in classes run by the award-winning organization REAP, now have tremendous incentives to go to school. Not only do they receive the education that they need to end the cycle of poverty, but they also receive warm, wholesome meals that keep their minds and bodies healthy and strong. The GPM solution of providing meals for children in school addresses both short-term and long-term needs of the children. The immediate need of hunger relief is achieved, malnutrition is abated, and a sound education is established to help promote a better life for children of the slums.
Moreover, nutrition has a tremendous impact on every aspect of child development, including cognitive development. Proper nutrition is essential to learning, thinking, and cognitive perception. Young children’s development is particularly sensitive to the effects of an inadequate diet. Research shows links between nutrition and brain development, cognitive function, curiosity, behavior, and communication and social skills. By providing daily nutrition, GPM is providing children with basic tools for good health, cognition and development.
The impact of this program is significant: Teachers reported a 50% increase in attendance rates due to the GPM program.