UMCOR nutrition/food security activities

The UMCOR Nutrition department was founded at 1999. All programs of the Nutrition department have the same goal: to combat hunger and support and empower vulnerable/disadvantaged people living in state institutions (special/boarding schools for handicapped and socially vulnerable children, retirement centers, orphanages, mental hospitals, and kindergartens for socially vulnerable children) and in targeted rural communities.

In1999 the Nutrition department started its programs with “Free cheese distribution programs” that still exists today. Over ten years this US State Department funded program distributes cheese to special institutions to improve diets of beneficiaries living in the institutions and to promote the market for local cheese producers.

Later (2000-2003, the Nutrition department implemented “Social Transition Program”, which aimed to improve diets of schoolchildren and university students by providing seasonal food assistance. 6,000 schoolchildren were supported with daily lunches.

In 2011 the Nutrition department started to work on the community level. Foods Resource Bank made it possible to work not only in special institutions, but also at Semyonovka, Anipemza and Ahnidzor communities of Armenia. The project addresses  the vulnerability of families and the lack of self-sufficiency in food procurement of state-run institutions for their residents through provision of agricultural inputs and technical assistance.

As a short-term result, UMCOR envisions that the communities and institutions supported through the project will achieve food security through increased food accessibility and availability and utilization of more nutritious products for consumption. As a long-term result, families will obtain valuable knowledge and afford better healthcare for their dependents through generated incomes while institution staff will continue to provide nutritious diet to future residents. In the process, beneficiaries will develop self-confidence and fewer people will seek labor opportunities away from their homes.

Provision of Humanitarian Assistance to Institutionalized People (PHAIP)

Project Targeted Areas: Country Wide

Project Implementation Period: March 2012 – February 2013

Donor: US State Department

Project Goal: To support vulnerable children and elderly people living in state institutions by meeting their basic nutritional needs through the purchase and distribution of locally produced cheese.

Project beneficiaries:

•    5,396 vulnerable institutionalized children living in the orphanages, child support and boarding institutions and special schools for disabled individuals and attending child care centers.

•    1,845 vulnerable institutionalized elderly people living in retirement centers and mental hospitals, as well as those who attend soup kitchens.

Project Objectives:

Within the project framework UMCOR firs objective is to procure 33.612 MT of locally produced cheese through an open and transparent tender. The second objective is to improve menus of 7,241 people living in 62 institutions with locally produced cheese for a 12-month period. The last objective of the project is to monitor the distribution of the cheese from cheese factories to each institution, assuring timely deliveries and high quality cheese, proper storage, and equitable servings to beneficiaries.

Expected Results:

•    Improved quality of life for 7,241 vulnerable institutionalized children and elderly through a more balanced diet during the 12-month period.