Tokyo Cement Group expands “Nourishing the Future” School Nutrition Program

Tokyo Cement Group recently extended its “Nourishing the Future” school nutrition program by
adding 179 students from four schools in Siyambalanduwa in the Monaragala District. The
initiative includes primary grade students of Wattegama Sirimal Kanista Vidyalaya in Kotiyagala,
Bambaragasroda Kanista Vidyalaya in Siyambalanduwa, and Barawaya Primary School and
Danakiriya Kanista Vidyalaya in Kandaudapanguwa, who now receive a balanced mid-day meal
on all five days of the week through this scheme.
Tokyo Cement was silently operating this benevolent social upliftment program for several years
in the past, where they provided mid-day meals to over 300 students of Thiriyaya Maha
Vidyalaya in Trincomalee. With the addition of Monaragala schools, Tokyo Cement Group’s
“Nourishing the Future” mid-day meal program now touches the lives of over 475 schoolchildren
hailing from backgrounds of reduced circumstances.
Mr. Praveen Gnanam, Director Innovations, Tokyo Cement Group, commenting on the
expansion of this far-reaching initiative said, “The purpose of this program is to address the
childhood malnutrition epidemic that has grown exponentially over the course of this year. Left
unchecked, malnutrition has the potential to cause both mental and physiological
developmental diseases for future generations. Furthermore, parents are more likely to send
their children to school if they are fed, thereby increasing access to education for those most
impacted by the economic crisis.”

179 students in 4 schools in Moneragala receive a balanced mid-day meal through
Tokyo Cement Group’s “Nourishing the Future” school nutrition program

The daily meal plans follow the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Education, to ensure all main
food groups consisting of greens, pulses, a fresh dairy product and a locally sourced fruit is
included therein, to supplement their diet and fulfil the children’s nutritional growth needs. To
ensure the students receive a wholesome lunch on a consistent basis and the children’s growth
milestones are achieved progressively, Tokyo Cement has implemented a comprehensive
monitoring process with help from each schools’ administration, parent groups, Zonal Director
of the Ministry of Education and local health officers attached to the Ministry of Health.

The daily meal-plans include all main food groups
to fulfil the children’s nutritional growth needs
The Zonal Educational Director played a key role in coordinating the program between the
schools’ authorities and Tokyo Cement. On ground, the program is executed under the
supervision of the principal and teachers in each school, whilst voluntary teams of parents help
prepare the meals. Tokyo Cement has also stepped up the program by supplying the basic
utensils and amenities required, to standardize each school kitchen to operate under optimal
hygienic conditions during food preparation. The local Public Health Inspectors supervise the
program by visiting the schools on a regular basis to ensure the meals are prepared adhering to
strict health guidelines.

Meals are prepared by voluntary teams of parents under strict hygienic conditions
supervised by local health authorities and the principal and teachers in each school

This compassionate endeavour was started by Tokyo Cement Group’s Founder Chairman,
Deshamanya A.Y.S. Gnanam, who during his time saw the importance of providing a healthy
meal to schoolchildren from low-income families to encourage school attendance as a much-
needed boost to complete their primary education. Tokyo Cement Group’s decision to expand
the program comes at a time when several international agencies such as UNICEF and the WB
have flagged the rising rates of malnutrition and growth deficiencies among children in all parts
of Sri Lanka, especially in low-income segments, due to the rapid rise of food inflation. The
Nourishing the Future school nutrition program addresses this issue with a tangible solution that
lifts a huge burden off the parents, who are on a daily struggle to provide a square meal for their
children amidst dire economic conditions.
The program is among the many social empowerment projects deployed by the Company with a
profound impact on the lives of the people of our country. Tokyo Cement Group’s commitment
to social responsibility breathes life through initiatives such as this, by which they have
successfully integrated social welfare and environmental conservation into its corporate DNA, as
part of the vision to become the leading partner in Nation-building.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *