Meals and Nutrition

Feed the Hungry San Miguel operates kitchens attached to preescolar and primary schools in 34 communities in the San Miguel de Allende municipality.

Thirty of them are in rural villages, while four are located in marginal urban areas. In most of the communities, cooks are hired, trained, and paid a year-round salary and benefits, while in the remaining kitchens the cooking and serving is done by a small group of mothers who volunteer. Both salaried and volunteer cooks receive recurrent training and oversight from staff supervisors who visit the kitchens each week. The meals program director and staff nutritionist also visit each kitchen periodically to assure that the highest standards are maintained and problems are solved quickly.

 

Fresh produce and dry goods are delivered on a weekly basis by a corps of volunteers. A staff nutritionist determines the nutritional and caloric needs of each school group and a trained chef develops recipes and menus accordingly. The varied menus are structured to present all of the food groups outlined on the Plato del Buen Comer and to fulfill 30% of the child’s daily caloric needs at each stage of their growth. The menu is changed seasonally to include locally grown fruit and vegetables.

  • A pre-school child requires 1000 -1200 calories a day
  • A primary school child requires 1200 -1500 calories a day
  • A secondary school child requires 1500 -1700 calories a day

All of the balanced meals that are prepared in our school-kitchens are:

harmless: clean and disinfected;
complete: provide the required calories;
balanced: 15-20% protein, 50-55% carbs, and 20-30% lipids (good fats)

The plastic plates that we use help define the size of the portion adequate for each child’s needs, while also keeping flavors and textures separate on the plate.

Family Nutrition Education workshops help the mothers use these basic nutrition concepts while preparing family meals at home. The workshops help define the amount of food necessary for each child, because each child has different needs which depend on their age, size, genetics, home life, level of physical activity, etc.

Our budget is almost entirely supported by gifts from donors like you, who care enough about the health and future of Mexico’s children.