Innovation That Matters

In Jakarta, healthy meals at sponsored food carts for kids

Nonprofit & Social Cause

According to 2008 figures quoted by Mercy Corps, 11 million Indonesian children suffer from malnutrition. In the slums of Jakarta, many parents give their children a few rupiah for dinner, which they spend filling up on sweets and junk food from street vendors, leading to anaemia rates of over 50 percent in some areas of the city. A new social enterprise by Mercy Corps is taking a pragmatic approach to improving children’s food intake. The Healthy Street Foods Project has funded a fleet of food stalls and is providing them to selected street-vendors around the city. Worth USD 600 each, these are no ordinary food stalls. Known as Kedai Balitaku (‘My Child’s Cafe‘), they serve nutritional food at low prices. Each cart comes equipped with a hand-washing station, and they have been designed by Saatchi & Saatchi to be both appealing and accessible to young children, displaying food at child’s-eye-level and featuring colourful pictures of ‘superkids’. Dishes served include bubur ayam, a rice, chicken and coconut milk porridge served with vegetables for IDR 2,000 (USD 0.20). One bowl satisfies one third of a child’s daily calorific needs. The scheme has already proved popular with children, some of whom are starting to text orders for delivery. But they’re not the only ones to benefit. The hand-picked local vendors now own thriving micro-businesses which, according to Mercy Corps, started turning a profit in their second month. It shows the sustainable progress that can be made by empowering local entrepreneurs to combat problems in their own communities. (Related: Food store for kidsHappy healthy meals.) Spotted by: Susanna Haynie



Download PDF