Every child deserves an equal chance to grow up healthy and fulfill his or her potential. However, in Benin, thousands of children suffer from malnutrition due to an undiversified diet.
It is essential to promote innovation in response to this challenge, focusing on the creation of innovations closely aligned with the concrete needs of communities and their lifestyles.
This is why Experts-Solidaires and its Beninese partners have been working for several years on a project that is as original as it is effective: the manufacture of food products based on cricket flour for meals served in school canteens!
Why act now ?
Protein, iron, omega-3 and omega-6 deficiencies have serious consequences for children’s health. They hinder their growth, weaken their immune systems, and limit their ability to learn. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), malnutrition is responsible for over a third of all deaths among children under five worldwide.
School canteen programs have been set up in many countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The meals provided by schools to pupils ensure that all children attending school have the right to at least one meal a day. This measure has proved effective. However, an analysis of the quality of the meals provided in Benin, one of the model countries for this program, carried out by the Food Program of Benin ( WFP) – « Fill the Nutrient Gap »-, showed that the meals did not at all cover the protein and micronutrient needs of the children.
The Beninese government has set up an ambitious school canteen program to combat child hunger. However, despite its laudable efforts, this program does not always manage to cover our children’s essential nutritional needs. The meals provided often concentrate on basic cereals, leaving a glaring lack of protein, iron, omega-3 and omega-6, key elements for healthy growth and intellectual development.