FYFFES PARTNERS WITH THE FOOD BANK OF HONDURAS TO IMPROVE NUTRITION AND SCHOOL ATTENDANCE OF HONDURAN CHILDREN

5th december 2023 |

With the aim of supporting healthy nutrition and reducing school absenteeism of children in the

communities near Fyffes melon-producing farms in Choluteca, Honduras, Fyffes and the Food Bank

of Honduras have created a pilot programme ‘Nutrition with Melon Flavour’ (or ‘Nutrición con Sabor

a Melón’) which has already benefited 138 families.

The beneficiaries of the pilot programme are students from the Ramón Villeda Morales and Manuel

Milciades Mendieta schools, from the communities of La Permuta and Tablones Abajo, both from the

municipality of Santa Ana de Yusguare, Choluteca. The project involved delivering 13,151 nutritionally

balanced lunches to the children, with a different menu for each day, including melons from Fyffes

subsidiary Sol Group. The lunches were prepared by parents and facilitators from the Food Bank of

Honduras, who took part in 16 training sessions and eight workshops on nutrition and promoting

healthy eating habits. So far, Fyffes has donated 1,200 melons to local families.

Vanessa Caballero, Food Bank of Honduras Executive Director, explains: “Before the project ‘Nutrition

with Melon Flavour’, only 24% (41) of the children were obtaining sufficient calories, and the rate of

malnutrition was 49% (90 children). With the contribution of 600 daily calories provided through the

programme’s nutritious meals, as well as the education and advice provided to families, it has been

possible for 78% (135) of the children to reach sufficient consumption of daily calories. At the same

time, the rate of malnutrition decreased by 16%, rescuing 31 children from malnutrition in just four

months. We feel honoured to be able to change these lives through our work together with Sol Group

and Fyffes.”

For her part, María Estrada, Director of the Ramón Villeda Morales school, stated: “This project is

greatly welcomed by the entire student population, the Teachers’ Council, and the community in

general. The children who were in a state of malnutrition have improved remarkably, also resulting

in the improvement of their academic performance, especially those in first, second and third grade

(six to nine years old), thus reducing absenteeism. We have high hopes for their results in the eight

academic subjects.”

In addition to the meals and donations, this programme involved the evaluation, diagnosis, and

monitoring of the children’s growth levels, as well as repairs and refurbishment of the school kitchens

taking part in the programme.

Michael Fletes, Sol Honduras Sustainability Coordinator and project leader, said: “Fyffes 2021

Community Needs Assessment told us that assess to nutritious food was a challenge for the

community, despite the fact that we are harvesting nutritious melons in the same vicinity. Fyffes is

delighted to partner with the Food Bank of Honduras, as it has successfully led this project at the

operational level. We are pleased to be able to contribute to the wellbeing of these communities that

experience serious deficits in food security and educational attainment. This pilot has helped inform

our community investment strategy in the region as we expand our contribution to improving

nutritional access in our neighbouring communities.”

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