Weekly Feeding Program for Neighbourhood Children and Caregivers
Mercy Touch operates a feeding program on the farm near the area where the children's homes are located. In cooperation with a local clinic, Mercy Touch staff identify malnourished children under five years of age who can then be placed on the feeding program to restore their normal weight.
A high infant mortality rate in Zambia attributed to poor nutirition means that many children do not live past the age of five. Mercy Touch budgets enough money to purchase food for children in our homes and provide meals for starving children in the community as well. By example our children learn how to give back to the community at large and also periodically help with food distribution.
Mothers who bring their children to the feeding center receive a meal together with their children and participate in group discussions on child-care and family related topics. Fun activities are planned for the children after meal-times.
Following the feeding program, mothers receive soya protein supplements to mix in family meals to help their children gain weight. Each child is weighed regularly by mission volunteers until they reach a healthy weight. Mothers may also receive micro-loans valued at $40 in currency or live poultry, to assist them in starting a small businesses. A portion of income earned is used to pay back loans to assist other mothers in starting business ventures as well.
The feeding program also runs an on-ground outreach clinic once a month. This program is coordinated by our volunteer registered nurse. Many members of the community; women and vulnerable children that attend the feeding program benefit from this program because they receive care and medication that they otherwise would not receive.