Before the kitchen at Bloom Mercy School was renovated, students had to bring their own lunch. This was usually left over rice and lentils from dinner the night before, if it was available. No vegetables or fruit, no bread or roti. 20-25% of children would bring little or no lunch. A local bakery donated leftover cookies and bread. Principal Gerard would use these handouts to help the children who had an insufficient lunch. Now, because of the kitchen renovation, we are able to ensure that each child has one hot, healthy meal.
The new school lunch program at Bloom Mercy School is incredibly important to the school community. In many ways it is throwing a life preserver out to families struggling to stay afloat. One set of grandparents, Beena and Dinesh,* are particularly grateful. They are raising three grandchildren on their own. The children’s father is bedridden from a spinal cord injury. The mother left the family when she realized her husband was crippled. It is a sad situation, but now Beena and Dinesh have the peace of mind of knowing their grandchildren get a hot, healthy lunch every day at school.
Food insecurity is a big problem in our school community, especially for single moms, like Seena.* Seena’s husband deserted her not long after she found out that she has chronic health problems because of a hole in her heart. Two of her three children study at Bloom Mercy School. Seena says that a huge burden has been removed, since she can count on her children getting one wholesome meal every day.
One other huge benefit of the new school lunch program is that attendance has increased. Parents are more likely to consistently send their children to school since they are guaranteed a hot lunch. Encouraging children to attend school consistently has been an added bonus!
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the kitchen renovation and new school lunch program! And, a big thank you to all our parent volunteers who give their time to clean vegetables, prep food, and wash dishes. We love having you help the school community!
If you’d like to provide stability for this important program, please check out The Giving Garden, our monthly giving club. Just $8/month provides a hot lunch for 1 student. https://bloomindia.com/give-monthly/
*Names changed for privacy