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THE FOUNDATION FOR CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY IS A NETWORK OF INTERNATIONAL CORPORATIONS ACTIVELY WORKING IN POLAND TO AFFECT POSITIVE SOCIAL CHANGE THROUGH CORPORATE PHILANTHROPY. WE FEED, EDUCATE AND EMPOWER POOR CHILDREN IN POLAND. COLLECTIVELY, WE HAVE FED OVER 5 MILLION HOT MEALS TO SOME OF POLAND’S MOST NEEDY CHILDREN. OUR MISSION IS TO LEAD THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY IN RAISING THE LEVEL AND QUALITY OF CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY.

October 29, 2012, Vol. 9, No. 33

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
-- Thomas A. Edison

POVERTY AMONG POLISH CHILDREN

The worsening world economic situation leads us to take a new look at poverty in Poland. The number of people in Poland living at the minimum level of existence is on the rise. Unemployment, low levels of education and the size of Polish families are among the most important factors leading to poverty in Poland.

It is estimated that 2.2 million Polish people live in extreme poverty. Most of them live in agricultural areas like the Zachodniopomorskie region in which our Foundation works. Children are the most effected by poverty with one in five children in Poland living in poverty. There are numerous causes for this situation with high unemployment being the major factor.

Poverkidty often leads to malnutrition which is best seen among school children. For several years, the media has talked about hungry pupils, food collections, and programs of distributing extra meals for children run by the government and non-governmental organizations.

Malnutrition is not only a problem of physical health among children, but it has become a major sociological problem as well. Hunger doesn’t only cause medical problems, but it is also a source of psychological problems. Hunger is closely related to a feeling of low esteem, poor self concept, and poor body image. All of these problems are associated with poor performance of children in school.

Our Foundation work increases as the economy worsens.

WANT TO KNOW MORE, JOIN US ON OUR NEW TWITTER ACCOUNT

Natalie, Meg and Basia have begun a new foundation blog. Our account is FCSRpl if you would like to join in. The blog can also be found on our website www.fcsr.pl.

I’m anxious to read what you all have to say about our first 10 years in Poland.

JUST HOW IMPORTANT IS THE MEAL WE FEED OUR PROMISEKIDS?

Each week our PromiseLand kitchen staff makes conscious decisions on just what we should feed our PromiseKids in our Hot-Meal Program. These decisions are extremely important because we know that most of our kids come to school hungry, and the meal we feed them is the only nourishment they receive each school day. What we eat can affect how we think, and in the case of our PromiseKids, how they will do in school.

What we eat can play an important role in determining our mood and level of alertness. The connection is not completely understood, but it has to do with brain chemistry and substances know as neurotransmitters. These are the chemicals used by the brain to control its level of operation.

There are more obvious effects from substances such as caffeine and alcohol, but protein, carbohydrates and fatty foods will also affect our brain chemistry. Although no diet can offset the tedium of repetitive tasks, what you eat or don’t eat can help determine whether you’re awake or ready to doze.

Investigators have shown that skipping breakfast, as most of our kids do, can have a negative effect on the way students perform in the classroom and on problem-solving tests. Having too much to eat can also decrease alertness. One Scottish study showed that a large meal decreases performance on a complex task by about the same amount as being sleep-deprived did. Additionally, although simple sugars are sources of quick energy, studies of adults show that high-carbohydrate meals often lead to sleepiness, decreased attention span and impaired concentration.

The calming effect of sugar is tied to the fact that a rising blood sugar level causes the pancreas to release the hormone insulin. When insulin is around, it increases a brain chemical called serotonin, which has an overall calming effect on the body.

Because most of our PromiseKids don’t eat breakfast at home and come to school with empty stomachs, we elect to feed our children in our 10 PromiseLand schools as early as possible. We deliver meals to our younger children as early in the day as possible. In many cases, these kids will have an apple, half a sandwich, or some other part of their meal left over that they can eat before they leave school later in the day.

Although we don’t have scientific evidence of the value of our Hot-Meal Program, we do have reports from teachers, administrators and parents that the PromiseKids are benefiting greatly from our Foundation’s Hot-Meal Program.

WHAT DOES WORSENING ECONOMIC CONDITIONS MEAN TO POLISH FAMILIES?

A worsening economic situation means Poles are thriftier when it comes to food purchases, reports Rzeczpospolita. Nearly one-fifth of household spending in Poland goes to food and alcoholic beverages, according to Eurostat calculations.

Only four EU countries have larger shares in that equation: Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia and Romania. The EU average is 15.3 percent. In total, Poles spent zl. 226 billion on food products in 2011, says research company PMR.

DOLLAR A DAY FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO WOULD LIKE TO HELP FEED OUR HUNGRY POLISH CHILDREN

Our Dollar a Day program may be just what you have been looking for and the PayPal method of delivering your money makes it so easy. We pay just about $1.00 to feed one hungry Polish child a hot-meal per school day, $20.00 per month, $200.00 per year. Click PayPal below to contribute.

DATES TO REMEMBER

October 1 – October 31, 2012 - AmRest month long (October) campaign to raise money in their 215 KFC stores for hunger relief.

October 1 – December 31, 2012 - Hilton Hotel Warsaw and Krakow conduct “Small Change – Big Difference” Campaign to benefit our Hot-Meal Program.

January 21, 2013 - Foundation’s 10th Anniversary Dinner Dance. We are already making plans for the biggest night of the year for our Foundation. 2013 is the 10th Anniversary of our Foundation and we will make this Dinner Dance bigger and better than ever.

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

"A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral."

-- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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