Askinosie Chocolate’s newest product will do more than satisfy sweet tooths - it will also fund school lunches for students in the Philippines.
The Springfield, Mo.-based chocolate maker has launched Tableya - a traditional Filipino hot chocolate drink made from roasted, ground cocoa beans milled into tablets. And, through a partnership with Convoy of Hope, the sales will entirely fund a school lunch program at Malagos Elementary School in Davao, Philippines.
The company says the Tableya is produced and packaged by the Parent Teachers Association at the Malagos School (where Askinosie sources cocoa beans) and then shipped to the Askinosie Chocolate factory on the same container as the cocoa beans.
The idea was born after Shawn Askinosie, founder and ceo of Askinosie Chocolate, took a trip to Davao. While there, he visited Malagos because the company has a longstanding relationship with the school as a part of the Chocolate University (www.chocolateuniversity.org).
The principal and teachers there explained that many of the students suffer from malnutrition, which prompted Askinosie to attempt to find a way to help.
Shawn asked the Malagos PTA to make Tableya so Askinosie Chocolate could sell it to their customers and fund the school lunch program.
Askinosie purchased 800 units of Tableya for $1 per unit, and will sell them for $10. The $9 profit will fund a school year of lunches for 579 students - more than 111,000 meals for the school year. The nutritious hot lunch is a fortified soy rice meal purchased from Convoy of Hope (www.convoyofhope.org), a world leader in disaster relief and childhood nutrition.
“This little PTA came together and made a wonderful product for the nutritional future of their children,” Askinosie says. “They are an inspiration to us. That is why this program really is sustainable. The parents have a stake in the outcome.”
The teachers at Malagos Elementary School will measure the height, weight, arm circumference, and attendance of each child throughout the year to monitor the success of the project. The teachers and parents will be cooking the meals every day.
Askinosie Chocolate will sell the Tableya on their website (www.askinosie.com) and in their storefront.
Each package of Tableya sold will provide 232 meals to students at the school. Askinosie only needs to sell 500 units to fund the first year and will use proceeds from the added 300 to fund the lunches into 2013. The lunches are scheduled to begin in January 2012.