Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.
Food from Forests will be a women-owned and managed commercial kitchen buying top quality Maya Nut from rural women producers at a fair price. The Maya Nut will be combined with other locally sourced ingredients and transformed into a delicious, nutritious snack food or drink. The product will be packaged in attractive, biodegradable packaging for distribution in nearby schools. Schools purchase the Maya Nut product from the kitchen and are happy knowing the money is staying in the region and is contributing to a locally managed healthy food production system. Kids eating Maya Nut products twice weekly are healthier, get sick less often and perform better in school because their nutritional status is improving.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.
Food from Forests is a tool to scale up the successful Healthy Kids Healthy Forests (HKHF) program in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and Haiti. The Maya Nut processing kitchen is thriving and the project is replicated in more Guatemalan communities every year. HKHF has planted 325,000+ trees and provided Maya Nut lunches to 15,000+ children. 800+ rural women have earned income producing and selling Maya Nut. As a result of HKHF, in 2011 the Guatemalan Ministry of Education passed a law requiring that Maya Nut be served once a week in school lunches in the Petén. Maya Nut has a pronounced positive effect on children's health, weight, nutritional status, immune systems and performance in school. The Food from Forests product development is the next logical step toward ensuring local children have the privilege of consuming Maya Nut on a regular basis.
Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?
Once Food from Forests has developed the Maya Nut school lunch product and created capacity to produce it, there will be no barriers to scaling up Healthy Kids, Healthy Forests school lunch program in Guatemala. The Food from Forests kitchen can grow to meet demand from other regions and can add more products for sale to diversify their income. The entire process is participatory and this ensures beneficiaries are empowered and motivated to succeed. Because Food from Forests was conceptualized by the community and beneficiaries, it is a locally appropriate, replicable and scalable solution.