India Partners' project feeds hundreds of Dalit children - Christian Today India
In 2010, Time magazine reported that “42% of the world’s underweight children under age five live in India”.
In the face of such a staggering statistic, it seems almost hopeless to try and make a difference in a country that so desperately needs food. However, India Partners is making a difference through a school lunch program developed to feed Dalit children in India.
With the help of several donors, including Broetje Orchards, a family-owned cherry orchard in Washington, 100 poor children in India are receiving a nutritious mid-day meal and an education thanks to the Hungry Child Project.
Every year the workers at Broetje Orchards in Prescott, Washington choose from a list of over 20 charities to receive proceeds from their annual cherry crop pickings.
In 2010, India Partners’ Hungry Child Project was voted #9 by the workers at Broetje Orchards. That spring many prayers were spoken for the coming cherry crop, and after harvest, a net profit of $460,000 was distributed to 16 projects in 8 countries.
The high yielding crop was an enormous blessing for the Hungry Child Project, as $14,000 was given directly to help feed Dalit children at Karunamaya School, a school for 250 children in Andhra Pradesh, India.
The children who attend the school are ages 3-12, and come from 10 different villages in the area. Each day the children at Karunamaya School are taught basic math, reading and writing, along with Bible lessons. Many of the children come to the school with no breakfast and hungry stomachs.
“Many of these Dalit children go door to door every morning begging for food on their way to school,” says Brent Hample, President of India Partners. “The Hungry Child Project provides the children with hope and perhaps the only meal they will eat that day.”
Today, the Hungry Child Project feeds lunch to 100 starving children, five days per week, for 12 months – adding up to 26,000 meals in one year. However, nearly half of the children who attend the school still go without lunches, and the need for meal sponsors continues to grow.
Each meal costs just under $1 (including all expenses, such as wages for the cooks and servers, clean water and transportation costs). A meal consists of rice, dal, eggs, vegetables, buttermilk, tamarind water and sometimes fruit and cookies. During school holidays, the meals continue to be distributed from the local church.
India Partners works alongside a broad group of indigenous Christian grassroots agencies in India focused on alleviating poverty and injustice. On the web: www.IndiaPartners.org.