According to the National Institute of Nutrition, in Vietnam, for children under five, data for 2012 – 2013 showed that the proportion of malnourished children (in terms of weight to age) stood at over 16 per cent while Malnutrition rate (in terms of height to age) stood at 26.7 per cent. In addition, iron deficiency anemia among children in many years (from 2000-2009) in parts of the country was prevalent and the rate stood at around 30 per cent during the period. At the same time, the proportion of adults suffering from obesity stood at an alarming rate of 27.9 per cent also in the same period, according to an experiment conducted by the National Institute of Nutrition of Vietnam in 2013.
Since 2014, Center for Sustainable Development Studies (CSDS) and Table for Two Vietnam (TFT VN) launched the School Feeding Program. The project aims to provide nutritious meals daily at three kindergartens in Van Ho district of Son La province for children from disadvantaged families in this remote mountainous area of Vietnam.
In 2015, TFT funded more than VND110.000.000 to prepare food for 64 students from three kindergartens including Pa Che II, Pa Cop II and Sao Do in one school year. CSDS played the role of project coordination to ensure the smooth of the project. After one year, many positive changes in health conditions and participation of the kindergarten children were witnessed. To be specific, the height and the weight increased about 60% comparing to other year. The attendance rate of children each kindergarten increased from 80% to 96%. The figures has shown that there has been an overall physical improvement in the health status and attendance of the children which can be attributed to their additional nutrition intake. The project continues in 2016 to support 62 students from three schools. Gradually, in 2016 TFT will provide 80% of cost for food each meal which encourages parents to be more active to sustain the good nutrition condition for children.
Table for Two Vietnam (http://tablefor2vn.org)is a team of self-motivated persons who are currently either holding full-time jobs or attending full-time programs at universities. The team was brought together as each member feels the need to contribute to the society, create positive changes and make Vietnam a better place to live. Under the guidance of a Japan-based not-for-profit organization – Table for Two International and with the help of a Vietnam-based not-for-profit organization Center for Sustainable Development Studies, TFT VN is tasked with tackling food consumption imbalances in Vietnam. TFT VN aims to right this imbalances by working with restaurants, school canteens and corporate cafeteria to offer healthier meals while simultaneously raising funds to be able to provide free nutritious school meals to children at primary schools in poor areas.