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Jessica Watson and WFP Welcome 7,000 Australian Schools Aboard the Fight Against Hunger

As the youngest person to sail around the world, WFP Youth Representative Jessica Watson knows a thing or two about the incredible feats young people are capable of. It’s no surprise then that she’s back in her home country of Australia empowering students to make a sea change on hunger.

Jessica’s teamed up with WFP and the Australian organisations SchoolAid and Global Development Group for the KIDS FIGHTING HUNGER campaign launched today. For the next three months, students in 7,000 schools across the continent will learn about child hunger and WFP’s school meals programme. In October, Jessica will visit the eight schools around the country that have raised the most funds for WFP to congratulate them for their determination to make an impact on hunger.

“One of our greatest responsibilities is to invest in the next generation,” said WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin at the campaign’s launch today at an Australian Primary School. “We’re proud to work with Jessica, SchoolAid, and GDG for the KIDS FIGHTING HUNGER campaign to educate Australia’s students on global child hunger and invest in the futures of hungry children around the world.”

Thanks to the campaign’s classroom materials on child malnutrition and hunger, students will get talking about the importance of what’s for lunch. They’ll learn about WFP’s school meals programme that provides a daily nutritious meal to over 22 million school children in 60 countries.  The promise of a school meal helps get poor students – especially girls – to school and helps them concentrate on their studies once they’re in the classroom. Australian students will be inspired to see how important getting the right combination of nutrients can be in helping students like them grow and learn – and that a bright future begins with lunch.

“When I visited Laos last year, I witnessed the amazing impact that WFP school meals have on the lives of school children, their families and communities,” Jessica said. “It’s an honour to be working with WFP, SchoolAid and GDG on this great initiative to teach Aussie school kids the value of education and nutrition and to empower them to help fellow school children to make a difference.”

Learning about hunger is a big first step to making an impact on hunger. This campaign, however, will teach students one of the most critical things about hunger: it’s a global problem students can really help solve. They’ll see that it only costs US 25 cents to feed a child at school for a day and US$50 to feed a child in school for a year.  Students will be encouraged to raise awareness and funds for WFP in their communities and to donate grains of rice to WFP through the fun and educational game Freerice.com.

Small actions taken together add up to a real difference on hunger. When students in 7,000 schools across Australia promise to work together to end hunger – and inspire a global community of peers to get involved -- we’re confident that their impact will be felt around the world.

Will you join them? Leave a message of encouragement in the comments below and then jump on Freerice to help them make a difference.