At our Delia’s Learning Center for underserved, special needs children, we will continue to provide healthy meals to kids with physical, developmental, and cognitive disabilities, including autism. Many of our kids live in rural villages without refrigeration or running water. Our goal is to improve physical well-being and positively impact academic success through proper nutrition. We aim to serve 4,000 meals to 40 kids attending our Center in one of the poorest areas of the E.U.
Children come to our Learning Center hungry. Over 6% of Romanian children under five grow stunted due to malnutrition. This figure increases In rural areas and for those with special needs; high levels of nutrient deficiency correlate to higher rates of disability and developmental delay. Since 2018, a Nutrition Grant has enabled us to give healthy meals five days a week to disabled children attending our center, plus emergency food. With the pandemic, our funding source is no longer available.
The Delia Foundation’s involvement in the community gives us insight into the lack of “whole body” interventions for kids with special needs, particularly orphaned and Roma children. Disability & malnutrition interact with nutrient malabsorption, social exclusion, and feeding problems related to anatomic or motor impairments. We focus on education and life skills and getting kids to attend school. Giving proper nutrition improves brain development & enables kids to be more successful and independent.
Romania ranks 3rd globally for children not attending school due to poverty or disabilities. Critical is feeling physical well enough to perform in school. Our nutrition and wellness programs contribute to developing special needs children, orphans, and Roma children who are isolated and undernourished. Annually, we aim to provide 4,000 meals, 2000+ snacks & 4,000 glasses of freshly squeezed juices, plus 200 emergency food supplies and snacks for 75 children at the orphanage.