The Lunch Project

Founded in 2011, The Lunch Project has been empowering students in Tanzania to THRIVE. In 2022, The Lunch Project (TLP) became a program of Thrive Global Project (TGP). TGP is proud to continue to TLP’s mission to fuel learning in Tanzania.

Our mission is to give kids the fuel to THRIVE.

We power community-driven lunch programs in Tanzania

Giving kids the fuel to THRIVE so they can transform their communities

Community Driven

We are passionate about involving the local community in our lunch program.

All ingredients for uji porridge are purchased from local farmers to encourage sustainability. The children bring firewood from their homes and carry buckets of clean water from the local well to school.

Jobs are created as parents are hired to cook the porridge over the open fire, serving the meal to the children in cups they bring from home.

The Fuel to Thrive


Through The Lunch Project We… 

Meet Maria Godwin Maani

My name is Maria Godwin Maani and I am 15 years old. I like to go to school. Math is my favorite subject and I want to be a doctor when I grow up.

I am lucky and have had porridge at school the entire seven years I have been in Primary School. It really helped me concentrate with my daily classes.

Support students like Maria

Our lunch program is just one piece of the puzzle

We are focused on partnering with organizations to create a ​holistic support system for ​the ​Tanzanian children ​we serve. Through our partners, TGP provides the tools and resources these students need to THRIVE in the classroom through our signature backpack program!

Additionally, the schools served by TLP will gain access to the Teacher Training Program provided by TFFT.

TFFT’s Teacher Training Program is custom designed for each school to improve the quality of instruction by training educators, providing access to quality resources, and training of school management.

Meet Ernest Philemon Mmbaga, TLP In-Country Coordinator

My name is Ernest Philemon Mmbaga. I am the in-country coordinator for The Lunch Project. Education is very important to my family. Education is the key to life. I do not have a high education, but my parents managed to make sure I finished secondary school, which has really helped me in my life. From the time I met the founder of TLP, to my job now helping provide porridge to over 7,000 students, I consider my work with The Lunch Project a gift from God.

Help us give kids the fuel to THRIVE!

Meet the TLP Advisory Board TGP is guided by the TLP Advisory Board that is made up of former TLP Board of Director members. They serve to help guide the transition of the program under TGP.

Rebecca Wofford, The Lunch Project Founder

"10 years ago, I was in Tanzania, East Africa, and I was asked a very simple question by a headmaster of a primary school. He asked me "Can You Help Us?" What he meant by that was: "Can you help us give kids the fuel to learn?" We became a behind-the-scenes funder of a community-led school lunch program in Tanzania. The lunches are cooked by the Mamas for their children who attend school every day and who look forward to having a full belly so they can learn and succeed. We hope that they will thrive, and we are excited that we will be merging with Thrive Global Project to continue doing the work worldwide, to be a part of a community inclusive of all, supportive of our young people so that they can grow up understanding that they are loved, they will be fed, they will learn, and they will thrive."

Sarah Brock Rhodes, TLP Advisory Board

"For as long as I can remember, I've held the belief that to love someone is to feed them. When I began working with The Lunch Project, I knew that I was working with people of the same heart and spirit. As I've collaborated with Grace and Kathryn of Thrive, I've found myself filled with the same energy and passion. The mission and passion of TLP have found a beautiful place with Thrive Global Project, and I am so excited to work on this next chapter with them and all of our incredible volunteers and donors."

Bea Moise, TLP Advisory Board Member

"I’m beyond excited to see how the work we started in Tanzania continues with Thrive. Allowing the wonderful people and communities in Tanzania to flourish independently."

Tricia Sistrunk, TLP Advisory Board Member and TGP Board Member

I am thrilled about the new opportunities and resources The Lunch Project's merger with Thrive Global Project will provide. TLP has successfully grown to provide funding for six community run lunch programs in Tanzanian primary schools during its ten years in operation. The timing of this merger as well as the commitment and passion behind both of these organizations gives TLP an amazing opportunity to build upon its success and create a lasting impact on the communities we support in Tanzania.

April Whitlock, TLP Advisory Board Member

"I am filled with joy that the impact of The Lunch Project will continue with Thrive Global. Grace and her team share our desire to make meaningful connections and create community through simple acts of love. "

Sarah Morgan, TLP Advisory Board Member

"We’re half a world away from the students we help in Tanzania, but when I bring the story of TLP to American kids I’m perpetually reminded of how we’re more alike than different. The Lunch Project’s education program has been making cultural connections & developing empathy in schools for 9 years. During that time I have seen these soft skills grow more and more vital. While hard to quantify, I’ve seen how connecting with peers in another culture opens the minds and hearts of students. The Lunch Project’s collaboration with Thrive can expand our impact exponentially, and isn’t more empathy and cultural respect exactly what the world needs?"

Leslie Mueller, TLP Advisory Board Member

"Sometimes we are stronger together. This is at the core of what I have been teaching children through TLP’s Empathy Education program for the last several years. When we work together we create empathy and can inspire big change. Our students in the US have not only learned about cultural connections, but have also had the opportunity to practice empathy by contributing to hot lunches for their peers on the other side of the globe. Thrive Global Project's belief that education is at the core of impacting lives coupled with TLP’s Hot Lunch program is a perfect marriage for transforming communities. I look forward to watching the programs grow and the community impact they will make together."

Where the Money Goes Because of our commitment to our mission, all of our funding goes straight to our programs and not a dime to administrative overhead.