Project overview

Transformers is re-purposing surplus food, destined for landfill, into nutritious school meals for thousands of schoolchildren in Kenya.

Every day, WFP and the Government of Kenya are giving a hot meal to around 1.5 million of the most vulnerable children in Kenya. These are children in some of the most food insecure locations, such as the arid and semi-arid areas, and the informal settlements around Nairobi. School meals promote access to education, good nutrition, and hygiene for children. Since May 2016, WFP has piloted a more diverse menu in selected Nairobi schools that include fresh fruits and vegetables for USD 0.11 per meal. Yet the price point is unsustainable long term, with schools often unable to afford retail pricing. 

At the same time, Kenya provides nearly 10 percent of the EU’s horticulture market, exporting over 115,000 MT of fresh fruit and vegetables annually. At present, the fresh fruit and vegetable international export industry sorts fresh fruits and vegetables near the Nairobi airport at pack houses. Nearly 25 percent of these fruits and vegetables that are fit for human consumption are rejected for cosmetic reasons, which amounts to over 75 MT each day. Current constraints to re-purposing these foods are due to logistics and demand- no one market can absorb the amount.

WFP’s commitment to ending hunger involves the entire cycle of the food supply chain, from farm to fork. This innovation brings those values to action, yielding victories for two food-related Sustainable Development Goals:  SDG 2- by ensuring school children have access to nutritious foods and SGD 12- by reducing global food waste and food losses along production and supply chains.

With the support of the WFP Innovation Accelerator, the Transformers project seeks to capture good food destined for landfill and transform it into nutritious school meals for thousands of schoolkids in Kenya using an innovative supply chain solution, and at the same time, reduce the environmental impact of food waste.

Transformers will deliver the first delivered meal made of rejected produce in early 2017. During this phase, WFP will be testing delivery modalities, packaging and storage solutions. The scaled up phase will allow Transformers to validate the business model at scale in order to replicate in other WFP school meal countries that have high horticulture export volumes.

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Last updated: 08/01/2019