Could this be the way forward? We worked with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Moldova and the UNDP AltFinLab to come up with an innovative way to ensure school children in Moldova have access to fresh fruit. Read the UNDP Moldova’s blog below and let us know your thoughts…

While regularly eating fresh fruits is being recognized as having absolutely amazing general effects on health, such practice is not usual for kids in Moldova. Currently, the average kid’s consumption of fresh fruits is only about 60% of the minimum WHO recommended quantity.

Confronted by such a challenge, a small enthusiastic UNDP Moldova team invested time and expertise in launching an experiment to increase fresh fruits consumption in public schools by connecting the innovative private sector to school principals and kids. The results of the efforts are more than encouraging. Throughout an entire academic year, more than 3,500 kids in public schools and kindergartens had a new experience of getting a fresh-cut apple snack served on a regular basis, twice a week. That was due to the support of a dozen of private companies and enthusiastic individuals who donated cash for the project through an alternative financing mechanism. And in particular due to the support of Jamie Oliver, the well-known promoter of healthy diet and fresh fruits.

The same small team in UNDP had a dream of multiplying the experiment by about a 100 times, as to reach 100 times more kids, in fact all kids from public educational institutions. Expanding the experiment seemed impossible, not only because it is costly, but also because establishing a national distribution and promotion scheme requires much more than a team of enthusiasts. But we had an idea! That was to again connect the private sector and appeal the Government for a national programme of fresh fruits promotion and consumption in public schools.

Expansion is happening. Recently, the Government together with the National Association of Fruit Producers and UNDP Moldova joined forces in the development and further initiation of a national Fruits in Schools Programme to cover over 350 thousand kids at the national level. The programme will be focused not only on acquisition and distribution of the fresh produce, but also on information and promotion of healthier diets and increased consumption of fresh fruits in public schools and kindergartens.

The website is here for further information: http://www.picivoinici.md/

Source: UNDP Moldova

About United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Moldova

The authors are a team of enthusiasts from UNDP Moldova and UNDP Crowdfunding Academy who joined forces to substantially contribute to the increased regular consumption of fresh fruit by Moldovan kids. The team started to develop a comprehensive project, part of which is a crowdfunding initiative that aims at validating the idea with donors, companies, parents and managers of schools, and collect essential funds that are ultimately doubled by UNDP Moldova.