Family Feeding Programme

But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!”
Matthew 14:16

Providing a daily meal is a real challenge for many households.  This is particularly the case for  the orphan families supported by ShareAfrica Zambia. Their situation has always been difficult but this has been made worse by the economic downturn and the effects of the Coronavirus lock down. 

Malnutrition has a serious effect on the children and hungry children do not do well at school. Malnourishment is a major problem for the Zambian healthcare system.  Nationally, 40 percent of children under 5 years are stunted. Analysis by age groups shows that 54% of children from 18 months to 2 years have stunted growth.

In response to this situation, SHARE Africa Zambia has launched a Family Feeding Programme (FFP)  to provide help for the neediest families. The programme will be targeted at households looking after orphans and vulnerable children  on SHAREAfrica’s sponsorship programme. In addition, we are extending the FFP to include the elderly, widows, and people with special needs.  We have committed to run the programme for 12 months during which time we will monitor the progress and examine the feedback from the beneficiaries.

Although the need is massive, there is a limit to what we can do, therefore the programme will be limited to the 140 families caring for the orphans plus 60 more families or recipients mainly from the assemblies where the orphans attend.  

How will it work?

The Family Feeding Programme will be run as part of the Orphan Programme. Each household with one or more sponsored orphans will receive one bag of food which will be paid for out of their sponsorship.  The children will still receive their termly school and home visits and school fees and school supplements will be paid as before. The gifts to children such as clothing, books, and school accessories will continue but at a lesser value. 

The details of the distribution are :- 

  1. Every month a 25 kg bag (CSB) will be given to the parent or guardian who cares for the child. Included will be a 200gr cup which is the recommended daily measure for each serving.
  2. The 25 kg bag should be sufficient to feed 4 children for one month.
  3. Each bag will be labelled and dropped at the assemblies where the orphans attend.
  4. A further quantity of CSB will be delivered to support the widows and elderly in the same assembly. The elders will be responsible for allocating the food at their discretion.
  5. The Admin team will visit the households to monitor benefits of the program.
  6. A small gift such as schoolbooks, clothing or sanatory items, etc., will still be given to the child on every school visit.
  7. The 200 bags (5 tonnes) of CSB will be produced at the SAZ factory using produce from the Farming Program.
  8. A new (second hand) vehicle has been purchased to do the distributionT

Children and guardians at Garden Assembly, Lusaka, receiving sacks of Corn Soya Blend.

Serving CSB porridge

Serving out the Corn Soya Blend porridge

Who else will benefit?

Assemblies at Chunga, Buseko, Ng’ombe, Garden, John Laing, Kanyama West, Kamwala, Chawama and Makeni are now receiving bags of CSB. There are over 40 assemblies in Lusaka, so it gives an idea of how relatively small this contribution is. Other outlying areas like Mumbwa, Siavonga and Serenje where we already have children on the programme will receive a 3 month’s supply up front. 

We will do whatever is within our means to expand the programme but firstly we must learn how this programme is working.

Other assemblies in farming areas affected by drought are also asking for help. But we will aim to help them from stocks of maize meal which we have held in reserve for this purpose. 

What will they be getting?

They will be receiving a bag of Corn Soya Blend (CSB). This  is a “super cereal” that previously we had made in small quantities for people with special needs. With an increase in capacity it is possible to produce the targeted amount.

The CSB is made based on the WFP standard of FBF-V-13 which has 13 vitamins and 3 essential minerals. The main ingredients are soy and maize which we source from the SAZ farms. The ingredients are milled, cooked, and packed in 25kgs bags – as shown in the picture.