In a small rural school in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, children focus on the typical school work you’d expect – reading, writing and arithmetic. But they’re also getting their hands dirty. Muddy, really. That’s what happens when you tend to your school vegetable garden every day.
The kids work in teams to till, plant and water their garden. They also keep it free of weeds, rocks and plant-eating insects. In a few short months, what was once an abandoned plot of land on the school grounds is now filled with juicy tomatoes, crunchy green beans, flavorful spices, leafy greens and bright orange carrots.
The garden offers more than just an education in agriculture, though. It provides these kids with their main source of daily nutrition. And thanks in part to the Kraft Foods Foundation, through the Health in Action (Ação Saudável) program, there will be more of these gardens sprouting up across nine cities in Brazil.
This is our foundation’s first global signature program in Latin America and the third major international program announced over the past year. It follows similar investments in Indonesia, Philippines and Russia, totaling $6.5 million.
Program to fights malnutrition in Brazil
The Kraft Foods Foundation co-created the program in Brazil with INMED Partnerships for Children. The foundation is donating $2.25 million over three years to this hunger and healthy lifestyles program – our largest ever single contribution in the region.
In the Northeast state of Pernambuco, the program will focus on schools in six cities. In one of these cities, Vitória do Santo Antão, we recently opened a new manufacturing facility. Other locations in the program include the cities of Piracicaba, Bauru and Curitiba. Ultimately, the program will reach about 675,000 people through education on nutrition, basic hygiene and active play, and by helping families grow their own fruits and vegetables.
“The Health in Action program is truly transformative,” says Nicole Robinson, Vice President, Kraft Foods Foundation. “It empowers children, teachers and the entire school. And it reaches into the community to help people address the issues around hunger and healthy lifestyles for themselves.”