UN World Food Programme

UK Students Take a Bite Out of Hunger with WFP

By donating their extra money during lunch, students in the UK are raising funds to provide school meals to hungry children in the developing world. (Photo copyright: WFP)

After learning the impact of school meals in the fight against hunger for millions of children around the world, pupils across the United Kingdom have joined WFP this year to hold Really Good School Dinners at their schools. The campaign, which is jointly run by WFP with the Children’s Food Trust, has so far raised nearly £34,000 (US$55,000).

Schools across the UK are holding Really Good School Dinners to raise funds that will ensure children in the developing world receive school meals. Students have responded emphatically to the challenge of fighting hunger and are advocating for the power of school meals. For World Food Day 2013, we caught up with one of the schools making a difference.

As part of the campaign, pupils at Eleanor Palmer Primary School in London brought in a little extra money during their lunch, with donations going towards WFP’s school feeding programme. Every pupil was asked to bring in at least 20 pence, the average cost for WFP to provide a school meal. Many understood that bringing in a little bit of extra cash would allow more children in need to benefit. At home and abroad, healthy and nutritious school meals help to fight the pangs of hunger and allow children to focus on their studies.

“School meals are important because you need more energy at school. Having an empty stomach is the same as having an empty brain,” says Sandro, a pupil.

Nutritious food and an excellent education are two sides of the same hunger-fighting coin. Students perform better on a full stomach, and proper nutrition sets children on a path to a brighter future. Children have the best opportunity to get a head start in life when they don’t have to worry about going hungry.

Through the campaign, students delved deeper into an issue many of them already care about. After hearing about the campaign from WFP UK, members of the school council, known as the “Rights Respecting Champions,” jumped at the chance to both raise money for a wider cause and learn more about world hunger.

One of the school’s Rights Respecting Champions, Sawdah, says it’s important that all children have at least one meal a day in order to develop. “We go to school for six and a half hours a day, so we should have something to eat. And after we eat we can run around, which is healthy. And since we learn all day, we need something to fuel our bodies.”

“WFP’s work is very close to the children’s hearts. Last year, we hosted a big day for change, looking at the issues of hunger and starvation,” says Sally Hill, a teacher at the school. “Through the Really Good School Dinner, we held discussions in class to really explore how hunger is impacting millions of people and the ways we can help.”

Participate in the Really Good School Dinner

If your school would like to hold a Really Good School Dinner, register your interest here. We look forward to working with you to fight hunger. If you would like to receive more information or have questions, please contact WFP at 0207 240 9001 or email nina.valente@wfp.org.

Links to previous RGSD stories:

http://www.wfp.org/students-and-teachers/schools-in-action/blog/uk-students-teamed-put-giving-back-menu

http://www.wfp.org/blog/blog/inspired-molly-students-london-took-hunger-world-food-day

(This story was written by Theresa Mutter, Outreach Coordinator in WFP's United Kingdom & Republic of Ireland Communications Office. Photos copyright: WFP)