All students who attend Ebenezer School receive a meal each school day. Our meal program is made possible through a partnership with Feed My Starving Children (FMSC). This incredible organization provides food free of charge to our school, and donations to our ministry cover the cost of transportation and administering the program onsite.
Why We Need a Feeding Program
The people who live in Belle Vie are extremely poor, and it is difficult for them to get enough food to stay well nourished. They tend to eat once per day, and sometimes not even that often. The food that they do eat often lacks essential vitamins and minerals, and it is difficult for everyone to get enough protein.
FMSC offers shelf-stable, nutritionally-complete meals that our school staff can easily prepare and serve to our students each and every school day. These meals have just the right blend of rice, vitamins, dried vegetables and soy protein, and we have to say they are quite tasty!
We cannot overstate the impact this program has had on our school and our village. Before we began the feeding program, most of our students came to school with empty stomachs. Today, every student is guaranteed a meal each time they come to school. As a result, the percentage of students who pass their end-of-term tests each year has grown from 63% to 95%.
This amazing increase proves what we knew to be true: Our students want to learn and are very capable of it, but they can’t do it without proper nutrition. After serving the meal at 9:00am, our teachers report more attentive students and a much improved school atmosphere.
Your donations also allow us to employ local villagers to prepare the food for our students and to transport the food to and from the ferry dock and FMSC’s Port-au-Prince distribution center. Our feeding program is creating jobs and supporting the local economy, both of which are important to the people in our village and beyond. It also eases the burden on parents who may struggle to feed their children.
Feeding Program Success Stories
We first met Wedentz in 2011, when he was just 4 years old. You can see from his reddish hair color that he is malnourished. After several years of daily meals from FMSC, his health has improved, and his hair has turned a dark natural color. Today, he is 12 years old and is at the top of his class in school. He is also a very happy child. We know that the nutrition he is receiving from our FMSC program is responsible for much of his success.
When we first met Blender in 2012, he was malnourished. But today, he is a healthy young man who is excelling in school. In fact, he graduated from our school as one of the top students. He also helps mind his three younger siblings, who also receive meals from our school.
As Blender’s parents saw their children’s health improve, they began to understand that good nutrition really matters. Watching their children succeed has created a sense of accomplishment, and they have taken steps to improve their children’s clothing and hygiene as a result.
We met Sokrat when he was just 3 years old. You can see by the color of his hair that he was suffering from malnutrition. But now he has been taking part in the daily FMSC meals for two years, and his overall health has improved significantly. His hair has returned to its dark natural color. Today, his mother better understands the importance of good nutrition and is trying to feed her family a better variety of food when she can. Sokrat’s three siblings also attend our school and benefit from our feeding program.
Hurricane Matthew Relief
The meals from FMSC were literally lifesavers for our village after Hurricane Matthew, which devastated homes, crops and livestock on our island and created a severe food shortage. After the storm, we contacted FMSC and received permission to redirect school meals to help those in need.
We can store several months’ worth of FMSC meals in a secure, well-built room at our school, which was one of the few buildings in our area that was not damaged by the storm. As a result, we were able to feed and house many of our villagers for several days until supply routes reopened and our missionaries could purchase and distribute food and supplies to rebuild the village.