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Jessica Watson, WFP And Schoolaid Urge Australian Schools To Join Fight Against Child Hunger

BRISBANE – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and WFP Youth Representative Jessica Watson, together with Australian non-profit organisations SchoolAid and Global Development Group (GDG), are joining forces to engage Australian students in the fight against child hunger. They announced their support for the KIDS FIGHTING HUNGER campaign today before an enthusiastic group of primary school children at Wellers Hill State School.

The KIDS FIGHTING HUNGER campaign, which will reach 7,000 schools around the country, will teach Australian primary school children about child hunger around the world and about WFP’s school meals programme.

“One of our greatest responsibilities is to invest in the next generation,” said WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin. “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.”

Each year, WFP’s school meals programme provides daily nutritious meals to over 22 million school children in 60 countries. It costs only 25 US cents to feed a child for a day, and only US$50 to feed a child in school for a year.  These meals encourage poor children, particularly girls, to come to school and allow students to concentrate better on their studies, giving them hope for a brighter future.

“When I visited Laos with WFP last year, I witnessed the amazing impact that WFP school meals have on the lives of school children, their families and communities,” said Jessica Watson. “It is 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 in developing countries.”

SchoolAid will provide school teachers with information about child malnutrition and hunger. Students will also 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.

“The KIDS FIGHTING HUNGER campaign embodies the principles of SchoolAid’s belief of kids helping kids,” said Sean Gordon, founder of SchoolAid. “This campaign will encourage children to take action against child hunger and simultaneously help them appreciate the good fortune they have by living in Australia at this point in history. Teacher’s will love the additional curriculum material that will be offered free with this exciting initiative.”

The campaign will run from July to September, during Term Three. In October, Jessica Watson will visit the eight schools around the country that have raised the most funds for WFP.  All funds will support WFP’s school meals programme in Laos under Global Development Group project J753N.

How Australia Helps WFP School Feeding Worldwide

Peter Baxter, the Director General of the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) said Australia is a strong supporter of WFP’s school feeding programs and the first donor in the world to provide multi-year funding. 

Mr Baxter said, “We know that hungry children, children that go to school on empty stomachs, do not learn.  Australia is proud to have helped feed over half a million children in 7 of the poorest countries around the world – Nicaragua, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Kenya, Laos, and Myanmar.”

To register your school or class, visit: www.schoolaid.org.au

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For further information please contact:
Monica Salvitti, WFP/Australia, m: +61 0450 044 713, e: monica.salvitti@wfp.org