Feeding the mind and the body

Jul 27, 2011

Can you concentrate when you feel hungry?

Neither can 72% of the students in rural Western China schools, according to a survey conducted by the China Development Research Foundation (CDRF). The study of 1,458 students in a dozen boarding schools, ages 10 to 13, found 12% of the students show signs of stunted growth and 9% are below normal weight.

In 2007, CDRF initiated a Nutrition Enhancement Program for elementary boarding students in rural areas across Guangxi and Hubei provinces. The program provides nutritious meals for the students to ease hunger and encourage proper nutrition and growth. Amway China was one of the major sponsors of the project.

The program is making a difference in the growth and development of students. Two years it began, a professional observation panel found that the average height of the students is already 1.4 centimeters higher than students who are not in the program.

Inspired by this survey, the Chinese government has begun to grant food subsidies to students in rural China.

This is a milestone, but the subsidy is far from sufficient. The needs require continuous support from public and private partners so Western China students can continue to grow.

Thanks to Rowley Luo for sharing this story

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