All About Food

Whilst we believe that education is the main route out of poverty we also understand that children need to be strong and healthy to develop and concentrate and to make the most of any educational opportunities we can provide. We therefore ensure that the Mango House has the means to provide nutritious meals Monday to Friday for around 100 children.

Cooking and distributing meals for so many children is a pretty big task. Action starts early in the day with a visit to the market to buy whatever is necessary for the day’s menu. Generally speaking on Monday either fish fry or fish curry is provided, on Tuesdays and Thursdays vegetarian curry, on Wednesday chicken curry and egg curry on a Friday. All meals are accompanied by rice and seasonal fruit is given on a daily basis.

Anyone who has cooked a curry from scratch will know it is quite a time consuming business with many ingredients. Nothing is ready made so Saroj the Mango House cook and her assistant Sarojini start preparing for the day’s cooking as soon as they arrive and cook kilos of rice and curries in huge pots. By the time the teaching staff return from their outreach work huge it’s time to lift the pots into the main hall where all staff lend a hand to put the rice and curry into individual pots – small ones for the pre-primary children and larger pots for the school going ones. The pots are loaded into the van and then after an early lunch break the food is delivered to two main slums where children we help living in the slum or in rooms in the locality queue patiently to receive their meals.

On arrival at the slum each child will be clutching yesterday’s washed food pots. As you might imagine in reality all food pots are washed again at Mango House but it is important that children understand the need to keep things clean. The older children love to get involved in giving the food out whilst Ali our House Father ticks off children who have attended school that day and will therefore be given a meal and fruit. Siblings come equipped with an array of bags suitable for taking all their brothers’ and sisters’ pots. Food is usually taken home to eat though some children take it with them to afternoon sessions. At the end of the afternoon around 200 “clean” pots are washed, dried and stacked ready to start again the next day.

Click here to see the daily food activities in photos