FAR recently distributed the second round of food packages to children who normally benefit from its school nutrition program. This time the program expanded to also assist school staff. FAR distributed 1,635 packages, 298 of which went to school employees who have been furloughed from work as a result of the government lockdown due to COVID-19.
Packages included certain non-perishable food items recommended by the World Food Program, including flour, sugar, salt and oil. All recipients were given a specific time to come and pick up their packages. Times were staggered and masks and gloves were required for all.
FAR runs two projects as part of its efforts to fight childhood malnutrition, which are implemented in kindergartens in Armenia’s impoverished Aragatsotn and Tavush provinces. Often the school meals are the children’s main source of nutrition. Once schools closed due to the pandemic, most would have been left without a reliable source for their primary meals.
FAR immediately organized the distribution of food packages, each of which contain a month’s worth of food and recipes for some of the school’s healthy dishes, which were developed by FAR.
“Many people here bake their own bread. We don't buy it, so the flour is very essential right now. Then again, everything is essential for these families who can hardly make ends meet. We have families here with more than three kids who can barely survive, and children who only have one parent,” said Arevik Avalyan, principal of Movses Community Kindergarten. “On behalf of all parents, I want to convey a big thank you for being with us, not only at this difficult moment but throughout the previous years.”
FAR will continue to with distributions until all schools reopen.