Kusina ng Kalinga (Kitchen of Caring): A Sustainable Platform to End Hunger
Kusina ng Kalinga serves thousands of nutritious meals from central kitchens which are brought to children in public schools, streets, etc.
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Scaling (the solution has passed the previous stages and is growing its impact on a regional or global scale)
Annual budget in 2017 (USD)
Number of beneficiaries impacted so far
Nonprofit, NGO, or citizen sector
Headquarters location: Country
Headquarters location: City
Location(s) of impact
Philippines: Baguio City, San Gabriel, Angat, Baesa, Nagcarlan, Oas, San Agustin, Hernani, Alangalang, Butuan, Mamasapano, Rajah Buayan, Parang, etc.
Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?
In a 2009 study by the Philippine Institution of Development Studies, 5.9 million children are living below the extreme food poverty line of $245 per person per year. Their physical growth is stunted along with their intellectual capacity. These are the same children whose main focus is survival rather than self-improvement through education, where instead of going to school, they scavenge or work to provide food for themselves. The children's potential is seen as the way through which their families may leave poverty.
Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?
Gawad Kalinga's aim is to end poverty in the Philippines. One sustainable way of achieving this is through Kusina ng Kalinga (KnK) by which central kitchens are set up to combat hunger and malnourishment for the students. These meals are brought to their schools during lunchtime, thereby incentivizing their attendance and giving them the energy they need in school. This also attracts kids who choose to work instead of focusing on their studies to provide food for themselves, which is a very pressing issue in the country. Lastly, Kusina ng Kalinga provides meals for those in conflict areas where children are torn from their homes and families, so that they may start going back to a more peaceful time when they could eat, play, dream, and generally just be kids again.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work
For school year 2016-2017, KnK reached a total of 21, 401 kids through 16 kitchens nationwide. Providing these kids with one nutritious meal daily over a sustained period of time has improved their nutritional status, attendance, and participation in school. Among 3, 970 students with comparable start and end of year data, there has been an average of 24% increase in their Body-Mass Index. These overall improvements in BMI point to the direct impact on the children's physical well-being which in turn serves as their foundation for their active and meaningful participation ins school. Only by filling both their minds and their bodies can these children unleash their fullest potentials and realize their highest aspirations. Aside from this, the parents are taught the recipes which they can easily make to create a sustainable impact through improved nutritional content of meals at home. The KnK program also sources ingredients and supplies from local farmers and SMEs.
Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?
As of now, the Kusina ng Kalinga program gets most of its funding from corporate donations, with an estimate of 70% of the annual budget, individual donations at 20%, and grants at 10%. This allows for the sustainability of the program but not the scaling up needed to reach all the areas where the project is necessary. The current plan is to train and mentor team leaders in the areas where hunger is prevalent so that they will lead their own kitchen with the help of LGUs and the Department of Education. This will essentially make the kitchens self-sustaining once set up through the funding alloted by their local government and schools. This is where we see Kusina ng Kalinga scaling up to reach all those in need.
Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?
What really differentiates Kusina ng Kalinga (KnK) is that central kitchens are set up to provide meals to the communities daily. KnK makes certain that the kids do become healthier, academically-motivated, and essentially well-rounded individuals through the values formation provided during mealtimes. We partner with local government units and corporate sponsors to ensure sustainability. KnK is also a constant presence in the communities we cater to show that no one gets left behind.
Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.
In 2013, Gawad Kalinga (GK) was rebuilding homes after the devastation brought by super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) at the time. As with all the programs of GK, there is constant communication between the organization and the beneficiaries. While talking with one of the parents, she said "Baka kapag natapos yang mga bahay, patay na mga anak namin" ("When you finish building those houses, our kids might be long dead"). The reason she was referring to was the lack of food in the area. That interaction was really the starting point of why the initiative to feed the hungry was born.
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