Amazon Donates Critical Cooking Supplies to Guatemalan schools
WASHINGTON, DC (September 1, 2020) – Yesterday, Guatemala’s Minister of Education Claudia Ruiz Casasola officially welcomed critically needed cooking supplies donated by Amazon, a partner of World Food Program USA (WFP USA), at a school near Guatemala City. In support of the United Nations World Food Programme’s (WFP) work to strengthen the government’s school feeding program, Amazon’s cooking supplies will benefit 500 Guatemalan schools, serving approximately 100,000 food-insecure students in some of the Dry Corridor’s most vulnerable communities. UPS donated the cargo flight to Guatemala, where the shipment was delivered on Feb. 28. Due to the unexpected COVID-19 lockdown and closure of schools there, distribution of the supplies was put on hold until now, when the Ministry of Education cleared them for distribution.
For the Ministry of Education, this donation is an opportunity to strengthen the educational community. “Now, some schools will have cooking supplies to prepare meals in a safer way to fortify food security and nutrition of children,” said Casasola.
Supplies will be deployed to schools prior to the end of the Guatemalan school year in October, so that they are ready to be utilized should schools re-open in January. This donation, a first from Amazon, includes supplies such as blenders, mixing bowls, pans, measuring cups and pitchers.
“This donation is a great example of how the private sector and WFP can work together for the benefit of children of Guatemala,” said Laura Melo, U.N. World Food Programme country director in Guatemala. “School lunches are extremely important for millions of children in a country where so many families do not have enough to eat due to drought, erratic climate and poverty.”
The Guatemalan government’s school feeding program is one of several social protection initiatives to support vulnerable families. With 46 percent of Guatemalan children under 5 stunted, school feeding programs promote better nutrition for school children. Guatemala’s prevalence of stunting in children under 5 is one of the highest in the world – and the highest in Latin American and the Caribbean. The U.N. World Food Programme’s operations in Guatemala focus on food assistance, school feeding programs and resilience building to protect vulnerable communities from the impacts of climate-related shocks such as drought.
“We are grateful for Amazon’s donation, which bolsters critical school feeding initiatives for Guatemala’s most vulnerable school children,” said Barron Segar, president and CEO of World Food Program USA. “By helping to feed Guatemala’s children, Amazon’s support together with that of our long-term partner UPS, is creating a future of resilience and stability for the next generation.”
“Collaboration is critical to address the daunting challenge of food insecurity among our most vulnerable populations,” said Eduardo Martinez, president of The UPS Foundation and UPS chief diversity & inclusion officer. “We’re honored to partner with WFP and Amazon to bring our logistics expertise to the frontline to help bring this life-sustaining support to the people of Guatemala.”
In 2017, the Guatemalan government approved a school feeding law that requires schools to buy 50 percent of products for school meals from family farming. However, this does not include costs incurred in the preparation of school meals, such as kitchen utensils and gear. School parents’ associations are largely responsible for obtaining such items, which present challenges in the poorest and most remote regions of Guatemala.
Guatemala is among the world’s ten countries most vulnerable to climate change and one of the most exposed to natural hazards in the region. Two-thirds of Guatemalans live on less than $2 per day, and among indigenous people, poverty averages 79 percent, with 40 percent living in extreme poverty. For more information on WFP’s programs in Guatemala, visit www.wfp.org/countries/guatemala.
Senior Manager, Communications and Public Relations
World Food Program USA
World Food Program USA (WFP USA) is the recognized leader in America’s pursuit to end global hunger, inspiring citizens to do everything in their power to create a zero-hunger world. We work with U.S. policymakers, corporations, foundations and individuals to generate financial and in-kind resources for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to feed families in need around the world and to develop policies necessary to alleviate global hunger. To learn more about our mission, please visit us at www.wfpusa.org.