The coronavirus crisis has forced schools in Kenya to close, but Wawira Njiru believes this is no reason for children to go hungry. In 2012, the 29-year-old nutritionist founded non-profit Food for Education in her hometown, Ruiru, on the outskirts of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. Her mission is to provide cheap and nourishing lunches to primary school children from poor families. To date, the organization has provided over 1 million meals. Since schools closed a month ago, Njiru says she has been feeding more mouths than ever. Her focus has shifted to “how we can support kids while they’re at home,” she says. Food for Education is supplying dry staples such as rice, beans and maize for the 10,000 children enrolled on the school meals program, and their families. Njiru says it costs $2 to provide a week’s worth of meals for one person. To make the switch from cooked school lunches to dry foods, Food for Education has restructured its operation, from meal planning, to sourcing, to delivery. But at its heart, the mission remains the same: making sure no child has to learn on an empty stomach.
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