Last week I told you that one of Friends of Ngong Road’s priorities in our COVID-19 response in Kenya is to focus on family food aid. We are calling this new initiative Food from Friends. In the course of a normal week during normal times, our program provides elementary-age students with breakfast and lunch each school day as well as a hearty lunch on Saturdays. Boarding school students receive 3 meals daily plus tea. As a result, when students are home these families experience extreme stress in just providing food for everyone.
Caseworkers for Ngong Road Children’s Foundation have contacted each family in our program over the past week. So far, no families in our program (including staff) have been diagnosed with COVID- 19. But, we’ve learned that two-thirds of our families have no source of income during the economic lockdown in Kenya. There are very serious limitations on movement and economic engagement including a curfew from dusk to dawn each day, enforced by police. Thus, our focus is to provide food aid for those families with no source of income. In our first week we distributed 130 food packets, but we must do more.
Each food packet contains beans and rice, corn flour and cooking fat. Families eat beans and rice as a meal. The corn flour is used to make a staple dish called ugali (a thick cornmeal mush) that is typically eaten with collard greens or spinach. A food packet costs about $10 ($40 a month) and we estimate will feed a family of four at least one meal a day for a week.
We expect the need for food to grow as Kenya’s shutdown goes from days to weeks. Thank you for your commitment to providing Food From Friends. Please click on the Donate button to give today.