Posts tagged Food
Feeding Hungry School Children

Recently little Moses fainted at school because he hadn't eaten in several days. Hunger is rampant in Mbayi. Children who walk long distances to school with empty tummies have little energy to concentrate in class. Poor nutrition is affecting their mental development. Hit hard by the incident with Moses and concerned about the plight of these kids, I met with teachers at Mbayi Primary School. It was clear we needed to devise some sort of feeding program. I had some bags of dehydrated vegetables brought by recent visitors and offered to buy mealie-meal (corn flour) for the traditional nshima (the staple cornmeal food). So the other day amidst much excitement two volunteer mothers prepared lunch. Fifty children were at school that day (there are about 200 registered), for the most part tattered and hungry, and I felt a tug at my heartstrings as they seriously then joyfully had a meal together.

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Millet for Mbayi

Millet is one of the oldest foods known to mankind. In fact, it is mentioned in the Bible for making bread and, indigenous to Africa, has been used as a staple food for thousands of years. It is inexpensive, grows well in areas with poor soil fertility, has a short growing season and is highly nutritious. Maize (corn) was introduced into Africa by the Portuguese in the 16th century and has since become the staple crop. However, the subsistence farmers in Mbayi struggle to produce maize in soil that is infertile and requires both D Compound and Urea, fertilizer that is very expensive. Commonly, they must proceed without and hence after much hard work end up with very poor crops.

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