Diana Velez, Gardening for Lunch

Diana Velez, Gardening for Lunch

For over a year, Diana Velez has been living in Pallisa, Uganda, as a Peace Corps volunteer, working as a teacher at a rural secondary school. After discovering that half of the student population needed more nutritious lunches, Diana collaborated with the school’s Agriculture teachers to meet the food demands of the student body by creating a student-maintained garden.

Ugandan students have busy days filled with classes from 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. and chores before and after their long days at school. Some students are fortunate enough to have breakfast at home; some are not as lucky. Similarly, some students are not able to afford to pay for lunch at school.  Students who have to skip lunch usually doze off in class or are too weak to participate in athletic activities.

Gardening for Lunch was created to address these concerns by creating a school garden managed by the students to provide them with lunch, to improve their academic environment, and to give them the opportunity to learn and apply agricultural skills. The goal of the project is to have students, with the help of their teachers, create a school garden to provide free to low-cost lunches for all students to be able to enjoy a meal at school.

“Our project will improve this current situation because the maintenance of a school garden is feasible and can easily be sustained by our students and the Agriculture teachers,” said Diana.

Funding from the Pollination Project will be used to purchase equipment and seeds.