Last week we visited one of our newest families in Kabul to distribute flour, rice, beans, tomato sauce, oil and tea – staples of the Afghanistan winter diet. The youngest child was smiling throughout the entire meeting. In Kabul, such a smile is considered a sign of disrespect, and the mother asked her to stop. But nothing could remove the smile from that girl’s face. One of our Food4School team members asked why she was smiling. She said, “Tonight we are going to have beans with our rice!” We then learned it had been over a month since this family last had a full meal!

When girls are fed and nourished, their developmental capacity and intelligence are directly enhanced. Malnourished children, on the other hand, experience stunted physical growth, intellectual deficiency and emotional challenges.

Lack of food and education sets the stage for early marriage, early motherhood and the next generation of poverty.

Feeding children enables them to go to school, to learn, to play, and to be children.

A free school lunch program similar to the one offered at schools in the U.S. would help change the health and future of Afghanistan – thereby stabilizing the economic and political atmosphere of the country.

Healthy food, a healthy home and a consistent education are essential building blocks to saving the next generation of children and moving us closer to a vital and healthy planet.