Can you imagine preparing and serving a hot lunch for 315+ children every day?
Not in a modern, industrial kitchen with a full staff, but in a bare-bones, open-air kitchen with little more than a sink and a cooktop, with limited resources? We do it every day at Three Angels Christian Academy… with a lot of help from our friends!
One of the persistent challenges of keeping our students fed and healthy is providing low-cost, high-nutrition meals. For some of these children, this and the light breakfast we also serve may be the only meals of their day. And although beans and rice are a popular and easily-resourced staple, we want to ensure more nutrition than those alone can provide. One way to conquer the challenge is with breadfruit.
Our students get breadfruit dumplings every Wednesday. The flour is mixed with oil and rolled into small pieces, which are dropped in hot broth with blended vegetables, like Swiss chard and carrots, as well as plantains and black beans. As you can see, the kids think it’s delicious! And we know they’re being fueled well to grow strong bodies and minds.
If you’re not familiar with breadfruit, it’s a large, nutrition-dense fruit that can be dried and milled into flour and used in place of traditional wheat flour. Our friends at Trees That Feed Foundation have been instrumental in bringing breadfruit trees to Haiti and have partnered with us to help keep our kids healthy, as well as to help strengthen local agriculture. Each evergreen tree can produce 50-150 large fruit per year, and since they’re easy to grow and require minimal maintenance, we are able to grow them ourselves at Three Angels Farm. Since wheat flour is very expensive in Haiti, breadfruit has been a game changer!
We also get lots of help from the families of our students.
Some of the women you see helping to prepare food in these photos have children or grandchildren in our school. Although Three Angels’ tuition is already very low, even by Haitian economic standards, there are some families who still struggle to contribute. As part of a financial aid program that’s new this year, these families serve as helpers in return for a low- or no-cost high-quality education for their child. It’s a great way to help that allows those we serve to maintain their dignity. And because of our amazing Student Sponsors, no family who qualifies for aid is declined, and every one of our students receives the same excellent education, nutritious food, and professional medical care. What’s more, the ladies that come to help receive the same hot, nutritious meal as their kids in a safe, loving environment where they encounter the love of Jesus among their co-workers.
In a society where there are no real safety nets of social services, a child with an education is an investment in the future… essentially like a retirement plan. Because of our generous Sponsors, we can offer a life-changing opportunity not only for a child, but for his or her entire family as well— just one more way we work to keep families whole.
And we think that’s awesome!