Nutrition is an important aspect of every growing economy. According to UNICEF, 20 per cent of children under five years of age suffer from wasting due to acute under nutrition in India. More than one third of the world’s children who are wasted live in India. Forty-three per cent of Indian children under five years are underweight and 48 per cent (i.e. 61 million children) are stunted due to chronic under nutrition.
Education and nutrition have always walked hand in hand in our country. Often lack of education leads to ignorance towards the importance of nutrition and lack of knowledge about balanced meal. For the people living under poverty line, where being able to have a meal is a privilege, children often do not opt for education to find work to afford food.
In order to encourage more children to attend schools, the government of India has introduced Midday Meal Scheme where the children can get free lunch from school. While the Mid-Day Meals scheme has done wonders for national school attendance, anyone that has visited these schools during lunch time know that it is not a balanced diet.
Between Chennai and Hosur, in Tamil Nadu, are 100 government-run schools, where children get not only Mid-Day meals, but also breakfast. By July, this number will be 140+. This initiative was executed using a smarter logistics channel powered by WayCool Foods and Products.
WayCool, along with a large group of corporates, that sponsors the food, is now bringing breakfast to these children, for 5 days of the week, and chicky to take home for the sixth day.
“Students don’t come to school first thing in the morning for two reasons. Firstly, many of them still go to work and make money. And secondly, the mid day meal gives them only 1 meal. Less food in the morning affects concentration levels. And hence we have decided to focus on breakfast,” said Chinna Pardhasaradhi, CFO of WayCool and the driving force behind this initiative
This breakfast scheme with these 100 schools was previously run for years by local food vendors that wanted to give back to their community. However, given the extremely high cost of transportation to these remote schools the existing supply chain was expensive and unreliable. The corporate sponsor reached out to WayCool, and after a few weeks of analysis, the organisation stepped in with a unique solution.
Sanjay, Co-Founder of WayCool and SunnyBee, said, “Using a combination of route optimisation, reverse logistics, and partnering with farmers in the school regions, we were able to not only deliver to all the schools, but do so at a subsidised cost, piggybacking off our existing operations. These savings were passed onto the meal system, and contributed in greatly increasing the nutritional content of the products being delivered. For example, instead of sweet breads, whole wheat bread is given. And instead of artificially flavoured milk, pulp-based juices and shakes have been offered.”
As their network grows, the organisation hopes to bring this comprehensive meal management program to 100s, maybe even 1000s of more schools in the near future.
Thank you for reading the story until the very end. We appreciate the time you have given us. In addition, your thoughts and inputs will genuinely make a difference to us. Please do drop in a line and help us do better.
The CSR Journal Team