WFP is short $68 million for its Haiti relief mission for 2011, so more funding needs to be secured in addition to the McGovern-Dole grant. School feeding is WFP's largest activity in Haiti. The agency also supports Food for Work projects to support agricultural development. In addition, WFP provides logistics support for the aid community, and has to pre-position food during the rainy season for communities that become isolated by washed-out roads.
There is a long way to go to achieve national school feeding in Haiti. There are significant challenges that lie ahead this year when you take into account the rise in food prices globally. Haitian families need the safety net of school feeding during this crisis. They are being forced to spend 60-80 percent of their income on food. So you can imagine what a free meal at school can mean to the family. However, WFP and other agencies will have a tougher time providing assistance should prices remain high.
But the big question is, what can you do? Within minutes you can actually take action to support this program. Just log on to Freerice.com and start playing this online game. For each correct answer, a donation of rice is made to the World Food Programme. The donation is paid for by advertisers on the site. Donations are currently going to the WFP Haiti mission and school feeding.
Are you shopping for the perfect gift for someone? You can do this and help Haiti at the same time by purchasing a FEED Haiti bag. Each purchase funds 50 school meals. Lauren Bush, co-founder of the FEED Project, says that sales have so far produced $53,000 for Haiti.
You can also advocate for Haiti, as well as other countries, by writing to your representative in Congress.
The drive toward universal school feeding has to be sustained. There is hope that it will be. In five to ten years we might look back at 2011 as a turning point for Haiti and its children.