Dubai’s popular community supermarket brand Choithrams reveals ‘What’s for Lunch?’ awareness and fundraising campaign to support the UN World Food Programme’s (WFP) school feeding programmes in the Middle East region. WFP, the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, and Choithrams mark the seventh year of their strategic partnership that provides meals to school children in need, ensuring continuity of education. For many of these children, the meal they receive at school is the only meal they get for the day.
During the campaign from September 1 until December 31 2021, Choithrams pledges to donate up to Dh4 every time a customer purchases a product from its extensive ‘Goodness Foods’ range, marked with a special sticker, whether in-store or online. The campaign will be active in all Dubai outlets.
Commenting on the brand’s vision to spread goodness through food, L T Pagarani, chairman of Choithrams said, “At the peak of the pandemic, more than 370 million children were deprived of the main meal of the day. At Choithrams, we aim to be part of the solution, and advocacy and donations to help in bringing relief to millions. Together with our generous stakeholders, our customers, partners and staff, we will continue supporting the school feeding programmes administered by United Nations World Food Programme to keep children in school.”
According to WFP, the global average cost of one nutritious meal for a child in school is about Dh1, and the average cost of one year of school meals is about Dh200.
As part of the #ZeroHungerwithGoodness four months campaign, ‘What’s for Lunch?’ is the question that will be featured on the related communications tools in all Choithrams outlets to trigger a conversation on nutritious and balanced meals and to help increase customers’ and followers’ awareness.
Through a series of informative videos curated by experts, ‘What’s for Lunch?’ will help raise awareness on the importance and positive impact of WFP school feeding programmes on vulnerable children. It will also inform and inspire viewers about effective lunch ideas. The episodes will be presented at noon across 12 weeks on Choithrams social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Discussions will be around smart lunch habits, nutrition, exclusive recipes and meal planning strategies.
WFP provides daily nutritious snacks – either date bars or high energy biscuits – to 1.55 million school children. The programme focuses on areas that have been hard hit by conflict, leading to low levels of school attendance and poor food security. Photo: WFP/Mohammed Sami
“Due to an increasing number of natural disasters, conflicts and the devastating effects of Covid-19, the level of food insecurity is on the rise and millions of vulnerable people are suffering from hunger, especially children. Our valuable partnership with Choithrams, enables us to continue supporting some of the most vulnerable children in the region through WFP’s school feeding programmes,” said Mageed Yahia, director of WFP office in the UAE and representative to the GCC.
At the beginning of 2020, national school feeding programmes delivered school meals to more children than at any time in human history, making school feeding the most extensive social safety net in the world. In a post-Covid-19 world, school feeding programmes are even more of a priority investment because they help countries to build back better: creating human capital; supporting national growth, and promoting economic development.
According to the United Nations global data, more than 24 million students have dropped out of school or have no access to education due to the economic impact of Covid-19. The pandemic has highlighted the need for quality school-based health and nutrition programmes. By supporting campaigns like #ZeroHungerwithGoodness, we contribute to giving access to education for every child.
#ZeroHunger remains an important purpose that Choithrams has been advocating since 2015, this year the goal is to reach 5.6 million meals to needy school children in the Middle East. Funds have been allocated to WFP’s School Feeding programme in Benin, Jordan, Egypt and more recently Algeria, encouraging families most in need to send their daughters and sons to school and keep them there.
For many of these children, the meal they receive at school is the only meal they get for the day, it keeps them healthy and focused in class so they can learn and play, make the best of their education, fulfil their potential as adults and participate in their country’s development as productive citizens. The collaboration between WFP and Choithrams has grown in strength year on year with widespread support from customers, partners and members of the community.
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