We want to help give children the best chance at
reaching their full potential
What We Do
On Friday 20 March 2020 all schools in Turks & Caicos closed down by order of the Government, in response to the news that COVID-19 had made its way to our shores. The following week, the country entered several weeks of 24-hour curfew. Our Breakfast Programmes are on hold until schools re-open. In the meantime we are working with other local charities to reach families in need of support.
A partnership with other local charities
Having recognised that this health crisis will present ongoing economic hardship for Turks & Caicos, and the world, several Turks and Caicos charities decided to come together to share resources and knowledge in order to reach more people in need.
Our Islands rely heavily on tourism, but our borders have been closed for months to protect the nation and contain the spread of COVD-19. However, this closure has had an enormous financial impact on hotels and almost all local businesses, and inevitably on their employees. With many places of work still closed, some of which sadly will remain so permenantly, unemployment is due to keep rising for some time.
Food for Thought has joined with The Salvation Army, Soroporomists International, Turks & Caicos AIDS Awareness Foundation, Turks & Caicos Red Cross, United Way Turks & Caicos and The ECG Youth Centre/Turks & Caicos Youth Foundation, in association with the Human Rights Commission, to collectively provide assistance without discrimination to those most vulnerable during these unprecedented times.
The group is implementing several initiatives, including: public drives for food and essential items, food vouchers, purchase of staple items for distribution, purchase of locally produced face masks for distribution, and of course fundraising efforts to allow continuation of the initiatives.
We welcome help in all forms – from donating a bar of soap or bag of apples, to volunteers assistance with logistics and distribution, to monetary support, to sharing our social media posts to help spread the word.
You can contact the group at NGOsTogetherTCI@gmail.com or +1 649 348 9015 or +1 649 242 4570, or Food for Thought directly for more information.
There are currently about 4,000 children attending public schools in the Turks & Caicos Islands. Our Breakfast Programme, which provides free breakfast every school day to all the students at the schools in North Caicos, Middle Caicos, South Caicos and Salt Cay. There are approximately 300 children in these schools. We also have our Food Bank Programme that operates in the remaining public schools, which you can read about in the next tab.
With the start of the Breakfast Programme in September 2016 the teachers quickly reported that they saw an improvement in the students’ attention, focus and attendance. The menu was designed to provide these young students with a nutritious and balanced breakfast so they are able to make the most of their morning classes.
- Vitamin D enriched whole milk daily
- Fresh fruit daily
- Porridge with raisins twice a week
- Whole-grain cereal with milk once a week
- Grits with an egg once a week
- Natural peanut butter sandwich with whole wheat bread once a week
Join our Food Bank
Due to the success of our Breakfast Programme Food for Thought has expanded its reach by including Breakfast Boxes that will provide breakfast items to the nine government schools not currently receiving our daily breakfast.
We will subsidise the Breakfast Boxes to provide enough for just 20 children at each school so we ask the community to help fill the boxes by donating items from our shopping list below.
Preferred Shopping List
(Approved by Grace Bay Medical Centre)
- Nut/grain bar
- Peanut butter (Smuckers Natural preferred)
- Instant oatmeal
- Instant grits
- Wholegrain cereal
- Dried fruit
- Fruit/nut trail mix
- Long life milk (chocolate milk accepted)
Drop off your donations at the following locations:
- Savory & Co., in Regent Village
- Graceway Sports Centre, behind IGA
- Bark + Bliss, Neptune Plaza, Grace Bay
- BCQS at Saltmills, Grace Bay
- West Indie, Regent Village, Grace Bay
- Department of Education, Town Centre Mall, Downtown
Why We Need Your Help
The latest Turks & Caicos Islands Poverty Assessment Survey in 2012 showed that 16% of households live in poverty. Households with children accounted for over half of those poor households.
It also showed that 60% of households have problems paying for at least one essential household expense, including food.
Many families simply cannot afford to provide proper nourishment for their children. Not only is the earning potential of children likely to be hindered due to the difficulty to learn if not properly nourished, but the cost of loss of production to the economy is substantial.
It is our obligation as a community to ensure no child goes without breakfast and is able to learn and develop.
Here are some statistics from Unicef in 2013:
- Well nourished children are 13% more likely to be in the correct grade at school, boosting lifelong skills
- Malnourished children are 19% less likely to be able to read a simple sentence aged 8, and 12% less likely to be able to write a simple sentence
- Children who are malnourished go on to earn 20% less as adults than the children who are well nourished. However, there is some evidence that the difference could be even larger, one study has estimated this earning deficit for malnourished children at 66%
- Malnutrition perpetuates poverty by reducing the potential of individuals to lift themselves out of poverty. Good health and jobs break the cycle of poverty and ensure that every child gets a chance to thrive
- Estimates suggest that in low- and middle-income countries, the impact of malnutrition could decrease GDP by between 2% and 11%.