One of Sri Lanka’s leading palm oil processors, AEN Palm Oil Processing (Private) Limited, a joint venture between Agalawatte Plantations PLC, Elpitiya Plantations PLC, and Namunukula Plantations PLC, has recently embarked on a humanitarian and social support initiative to feed 650 schoolchildren in the vicinities of its main production facilities. Inspiring the community to come together in the face of adversity, amidst the ongoing food and economic crisis in Sri Lanka, AEN Palm Oil Processing has brought parents and elders of the villages together to man and operate the project, so that it works as a mutual community kitchen.
Commenting on the initiative, Mr. Ruwan Goonewardene, Chief Executive Officer at AEN Palm Oil Processing (Private) Limited said, “With prices of essential foods skyrocketing and food inflation at 90%, we found that our communities were facing severe difficulties in sending their kids to schools. In fact, some had even stopped sending the children to school as they were unable to feed them. As a responsible corporate entity, we believe that it is our responsibility to stand by our communities at this challenging time. Therefore, we have taken immediate steps to set up a community kitchen to provide a full meal, daily, to about 650 schoolchildren in the area. We must ensure that our future generation is protected, nourished, and allowed to grow into responsible citizens that can take Sri Lanka forward. While the situation is regrettable, we are pleased to be able to stand by our communities at this very critical juncture.”
AEN Palm Oil Processing (Private) Limited has committed approximately LKR 1.2 million on an ongoing monthly basis to fund this initiative. The project commenced in October 2022, with the main objective of providing sufficient nutrition to schoolchildren and encouraging them to attend school. Subsequent to the launch of this initiative, a marked increase in school attendance has also been observed. Other forms of support and care are also being provided for the well-being of schoolchildren and other vulnerable members of the community in the areas where the Company’s palm oil processing plant is located. AEN Palm Oil Processing (Private) Limited also distributes books and stationery to more than 2500 school children, annually, since 2011 as part of the Company’s social development initiatives.