Feeding Futures began when Vanessa Bennett, a mother of young children in the UK became aware of children collapsing from hunger at school. St Brendan’s Primary is a rural school in the village of Ngwataniro in the Rift Valley of Kenya. The head teacher was Peterson Githinji, a friend of Vanessa’s. Together in 2009, they pledged to do all they could to feed the children at the school. With the help of supporters in the UK, Feeding Futures was born.
In April 2010, Feeding Futures built a kitchen at St Brendan’s School, later adding a food store. With joy and celebration, each of the 730 children at the school began receiving a substantial meal 2 days per week. As supporters were found and regular giving increased, we gradually increased the number of days children were fed at school and from July 2011 – following the food crisis in the Horn of Africa – the children were been fed every school day.
Feeding Futures in partnership with the second school, Mukinyai Primary, continues to provide a nutritious breakfast and lunch every school day. Many of them would have had no lunch at all and for some, it is their only cooked meal of the day. The impact of the meals has been huge. St Brendan’s received an award for the most improved exam scores in the area, and the feeding programme was the talk of the district. More importantly is the impact on individual lives.
Now working with a second school, we see increased commitment from the school and the community to work with us towards independence and away from a donor dependent school meals programme.