Impact #1 - Feeding Healthy School Meals to Children in Need
We feed healthy school meals to children in need across the United States and East Africa through funds raised by our Meal Sharing program and Onigiri Action campaign.
IN THE USA
- In the U.S., 12 million American children live in food insecure households. Food insecurity is linked increased risk of obesity, due to reduced access to healthy and nutritious food.
- With just 25 cents, TABLE FOR TWO USA works to make US school meals healthier by: adding fresh fruits and vegetables, eliminating deep fat fried foods, reducing sugar and sodium, and avoiding artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.
- TABLE FOR TWO USA provides healthy meals to 6 schools in the U.S. in New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.
- Especially for low-income students, school lunch is critical to health and academic performance. At the schools we support, the majority of students come from low income families with over 80% qualifying for free or reduced-price school lunches.
Why do healthy lunches matter:
1.) Students at schools that contract with healthy lunch vendors score higher on statewide achievement tests.
2.) When a school contracts with a healthy lunch company, students score higher on academic tests at the end of the year. Notably, students who qualify for reduced or free school lunches show largesr increases compared to other students.
IN EAST AFRICA
Through our nonprofit organization partners we provide school meals and build sustainable school gardens in Rwanda, Kenya, Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania. Previously, the schools did not serve any meals.
“Thanks to school meals, I am having fun school life everyday. My older brother couldn’t have school meals when he attended school, so I think I am lucky.” (Zaire / Student, Rwanda）
- Improved Academic Performance:
Before our meal program, children were not able to concentrate in class, due to hunger, and many dropped out of school. Now, children can focus. Plus, the drop out rate has decreased significantly.
“Children who eat properly in the school meals program increase concentration, enabling us to have longer classes. Students' grades have improved by about 20% compared to the ones before the school meals started. I feel happy when they do their best when studying.”
(Vincent - Teacher, Rwanda)
- Better Health:
After the school meals started to be provided, % of the students who have physical development issues decreased from 27% to 4%.
- Sustainable School Garden:
At many of the schools we support, innovative sustainable school gardens with irrigation pumps powered by solar energy have been built. Schools along with community members can grow vegetables and maize and sell the crops to purchase enough maize for school meals. Plus, children and community members can learn about agriculture practices, food, nutrition education and environmental conservation.
Impact #2 – Improving food education in U.S. Schools
With less than 4 hours of school time spent each year on food education in the U.S. and with rapidly increasing rates of obesity and overweight, we launched our Wa-Shokuiku program. We aim to teach young American students about the principles of Japanese food culture, and provide hands-on and online learning about using local ingredients to prepare food. Our program equips students with practical knowledge to form lifelong healthy eating habits.
What we have accomplished
- In the first year of the program, we held over 130 classes teaching more than 1,500 students about how to make and enjoy vibrant, healthy, Japanese-inspired meals.
- Students learned about heathy Japanese-inspired eating.
Selected Results from Post Classroom Surveys
- The percentage of students who could correctly identify the components of a balanced meal nearly doubled (44% to 80%).
- Over 20% increase in the number of students who could correctly identify that a meal should end before overeating (44% to 61%).
- The percentage of students who reported confidence in their Japanese cooking ability nearly tripled by the end of the program (31% to 94%).